Too lazy to get to the gym? Is it raining outside? Only have 10-15 minutes of spare time?
Here’s the perfect exercise: push-ups. Any time, any place.
They don’t require any equipment, it doesn’t matter if you are wearing restrictive clothing, and you don’t need very much room.
Push ups are just about the most complete exercise you can choose if you have no time and no equipment. They are also an incredible gauge of fitness and interconnected strength.
Starting from your toes, up through your quadriceps–your legs must remain contacted and rigid to hold a good position. You core and hips activate to keep your middle from sagging. Your back, especially your low back, will also feel the demand. The muscles around your spine, when held in a neutral position, will strengthen. And we haven’t even gotten to the upper body yet!
Your chest (pectorals), shoulders, biceps, triceps are the obvious upper body muscles being worked. Push-ups can be as creative as you want. A wider hand position will target the chest; narrower, the triceps. If your hands are slightly in front of your shoulders, rather than directly below, you’ll feel it in your deltoids . If you elevate your hands on a weight, curb, rock, or other prop, you can really work the chest and area around shoulder blades. Elevate your legs, and the weight will shift to the upper chest, shoulders, and traps.
You can do one-legged push-ups, for extra demand on the core. Hold one leg out to the side to target the obliques. Scorpion push-ups (lift you leg, and tap it’s toe to the ground on the side of your other leg), Hindu push-ups (swooping out of downward dog into up-dog), clapping push-ups, one-arm push-ups, shoulder-tap push-ups (tap a shoulder with one hand before doing the next rep), crawling push-ups, power push-ups (catch some air!), are only a few of the dozens of push-up variations…
Can’t do any push-ups? Try them from your knees (girl push-ups), or do them against the wall, or on a park bench. You can modify the difficulty of push-ups with extreme ease. Push-ups are for everybody!
Wrists hurt? Do them while holding a dumbbell in each hand, or from your fists (for a deeper range of motion, as well). This will keep your wrists in a neutral position.
Back hurts? Your core is probably your weak link. Focus you attention on keeping your legs rigid, and your core tight. Do just a few high-quality reps, rest, and start over, or immediately drop your knees to the ground and keep burning that upper body.
Start now! Every morning, get out of bed and do as many as possible. The more push-ups you do, the easier they get, to more varieties you can try, the more experimental and the more fit you will become.