Whether you love wearing sleeveless tops (and look great in them) or just want to be able to carry groceries easier, doing push-up exercises can help you sculpt and define your shoulders and arms. To help you increase your upper body strength, get rid of unwanted underarm flab, and get sculpted arms and shoulders that even Madonna would be impressed by, Inspirations & Celebrations‘ Fitness Contributor, Jacqueline Hinton (a Los Angeles based Pilates instructor and the CEO of the Pilates lifestyle brand Good Citizen) created this 7-day push-up challenge to get you started.
You can go through the entire sequence of 7 push-up exercises (each day), or you can do one exercise per day, building up your strength to tackle all of them by day 8. The choice is yours! The key to seeing results is consistency, so keep up the good work and start hearing the compliments roll in.
7-DAY PUSH-UP CHALLENGE
The push-up is one of those exercises that we know all too well, and it might even make you roll your eyes when you think about it. But, hey, when done correctly, it’s really difficult! It’s definitely one of those exercises that gets easier the more you do it. And it’s one of the best exercises you can do to build strength through your entire body. Alright, let’s get to it. Are you ready for your Push-up Challenge!?
*Start with as many pushups per exercise you can do with proper form every other day. It’s okay to start slowly, but as you get stronger add more reps.
Forearm Plank– Hold a forearm plank for 1 minute. This will get your entire body warmed up for all those push-ups.
Basic Pushup: Place hands wherever they naturally feel comfortable underneath you.
Wide Hands: Place hands wider than shoulder distance and turned out.
Diamond Hands: Place hands in a diamond shape under your chest.
Parallel Hands: Place hands under your shoulders and squeeze your elbows into your torso when you bend.
Up, Up, Down, Down: Begin in a plank position on your forearms. Starting with the right hand followed by the left, press up to a plank position on your hands. Return to your forearms, starting with the right and followed by the left. Repeat starting left.
Triceps Dips: Place your hands on the edge of a chair or the coffee table with your fingers facing towards you. With control, bend your elbow to 90 degrees.
- Start with your knees on the floor in a modified push up until you build enough strength in your arms, chest, shoulders, and core.
- When in a pushup position, you should be in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Don’t let your upper pack round or your hips sink to the ground. Also, don’t lift too high to the sky.
- When bending and straightening the arms, always feel like you are lifting out of your shoulders and away from the floor without changing your head, spine, or pelvis.
- Engage your abdominals to take some of the weight out of your arms, shoulders, and chest.
- Use your breath. Honestly, it doesn’t matter when you breathe as long as you are breathing. Plus, it will help you take your mind off how difficult a push-up can be, especially in the beginning.
For more workout ideas and tips, visit the Fitness section on Inspirations & Celebrations.
Fitness Contributor: Jacqueline Hinton
Jacqueline Hinton is a Los Angeles based Pilates instructor, the CEO of the Pilates lifestyle brand Good Citizen, and a professional dancer with a BFA in Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. Jackie has over a decade in the Pilates industry and has forever changed the world of Pilates by creating the original personal Pilates loop. As a fitness contributor to Inspirations & Celebrations, Jackie shares exercise and fitness tips to help you shape and sculpt your body.
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