Pushup Paula says YES, YOU CAN DO PUSHUPS!
It's a matter of starting where you are and working up to greater success.
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What's so Great About Pushups?
Pushup Paula says Pushups Build Body Strength
Paula says that pushups probably work more muscles of the body than any other strength building exercise. When you look at someone performing a pushup, you can see that he or she is working muscles in the arms, shoulders and back. You may not realize it by looking, but they are also working the highly critical core muscles that keep the body upright and protect the inner organs. In the regular pushup, the legs are getting a workout also!
If you want the specific details about the benefits of pushups, you'll find a writeup at this link: The Benefits of Pushups and another at this one: The Benefits of Doing Pushups.
Pushups are sufficiently important that almost all fitness workouts incorporate pushups in one form or another Even Hatha Yoga and Pilates have their own version of pushups.
Many fitness professionals and personal trainers say if you have only time or energy for a short workout, the three most important exercises to do are pushups, squats and abdominal crunches.
Start with Wall Pushups
Start Building up the Muscles
"No Problem," says Pushup Paula. "Just start building up your strength by doing wall pushups. Even pregnant women can do wall pushups without worries.
To do a wall pushup, stand about two feet away from the wall. Stretch your arms out and place your palms on the wall, straight ahead of you. The fingers should be pointing upwards. Lean forward, bending your elbows out to the side but keeping your fingers pointing upwards. Come close to the wall so your nose is almost touching. Push yourself back to the starting position.
If this is too difficult, move closer to the wall. If it is too easy, move farther away from the wall. Repeat the movement above eight times. Do three sets of eight Do this daily, gradually increasing until you can easily do three sets of fifteen. At that time, you are ready to move along to doing Girlile Pushups.
You can also do this movement against the sides of a swimming pool. It's a good addition to a water exercise class.
Shop for Fun Pushup Goodies
Next Step: Girlie Pushups
If Wall Pushups are Too Easy
To do a Girlie Pushup, lie on your stomach on the floor. Bend your knees so your shins are at a 90 degree angle. Place your hands palms down on the floor roughly beside your ears. The fingers point forward. The elbows reach out to each side.
Holding your body tight (this is where the core muscles come into play), push your body upwards and off the floor. Lower the body back down as far as you can go. Your body should not touch the floor, however. Repeat, doing sets and reps the same as you did with the wall pushups.
The wider apart your hands are positioned, the easier it will be. Adjust accordingly, gradually working it so your hands move closer to your body.
Lower your body as far down as you can go. If at first you cannot go low enough, do the best you can. The low position will come in time. When you can do this correctly and for several sets, move on to the regular pushup.
You can also perform a similar movement in the swimming pool. Go to deep water, place your hands on the top of the pool (not the sides, as in wall pushups). Haul yourself upwards and attempt to straighten your arms
The Perfect Pushup Video Demonstration
Avoid Pushup Injuries
If Pushups Hurt Your Wrists
Use Pushup Bars for Protection
Turns out they're not actually called hand thingies. Fitness people call them Push -up Bars
Final Step: Floor Pushups
For some unknown reason, fitness converts take great pride in doing 100 pushups at a time. Pushup Polly suspects that many reading this message are snickering at the very notion of doing 100 pushups. Maybe later.
Pushups Workout on the Stability Ball
An Alternative Way to do Pushups
Shop for Stability Balls at Amazon
A Great Pushup Prop
Stability balls are excellent exercise props. As you saw in the video above, doing pushup workouts on these balls is both fun and effective. Because you have the added challenge of keeping your balance, you work out your core muscles even more than in regular pushups.
Pushups aren't the only exercise you can do on a ball. The DVD included shows many others.
Also, if you spend much of your day at a computer, sitting on a stability ball periodically throughout the day is a wonderful way to improve posture and balance as well as strengthening back and core muscles.
Good Excuses for Not Doing Pushups
In Case You Run Out
Here's a dozen to get you started.
- I get my exercise acting as pallbearer to my friends who exercise. ~Chauncey Depew, also sometimes attributed in slightly different wording to Mark Twain
- I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon. ~Ellen DeGeneres
- My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit. ~Phyllis Diller
- Aerobics: a series of strenuous exercises which help convert fats, sugars, and starches into aches, pains, and cramps. ~Author Unknown
- Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate. ~Author Unknown
- I consider exercise vulgar. It makes people smell. ~Alec Yuill Thornton
- I believe that the Good Lord gave us a finite number of heartbeats and I'm damned if I'm going to use up mine running up and down a street. ~Neil Armstrong on jogging, in an interview with Walter Cronkite
- I am pushing sixty. That is enough exercise for me. ~Mark Twain
- Exercise is the yuppie version of bulimia. ~Barbara Ehrenreich
- Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes. ~Robert M. Hutchins
- The word aerobics came about when the gym instructors got together and said, "If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it jumping up and down." ~Rita Rudner
- Walking isn't a lost art: one must, by some means, get to the garage. ~ Evan Esar
Who is Pushup Paula?
Yeah, but who is she REALLY?
However, if you would like a clue, I invite you to visit the following link: North Shore Tai Chi Spirit
If you happen to live in Metro Vancouver, drop in to one of the classes. Mention the code words "Pushup Paula" and you'll get a warm welcome (I'm almost sure.)
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