While the pushup is one of the best total body moves, many women avoid the exercise, perhaps because of the scary memories middle school gym class brings back. In the privacy of your home or the safety of your gym, however, this is one exercise you won’t want to pass up. Not only does the pushup strengthen your chest, but also it tones your shoulders, triceps, back and glutes as well as your core. It can even help lift and perk up your breasts, surgery not required!
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If it’s been a while (ahem, years, maybe even decades) since pushups were (terrifyingly) required in gym class, here’s an easy how to:
1. Begin in a plank position, with your hands under your shoulders, but slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight, your core and glutes engaged and your toes firmly planted.
2. Lower your body, in a straight line, until your chest gets as close as possible to the ground, without touching. Be sure to keep you back, hips and butt straight throughout the whole move. Try to keep your elbows pointing slightly backwards.
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3. Pause at the bottom before pushing back up to the starting position. Push evenly through both arms as you try to move as quickly and smoothly as possible.
If this is too difficult, try doing the same movement but with your hands elevated on a bench until your strength increases.