FOR REASONS THAT WILL BE MORE FULLY DISUSSED IN THIS WEEK’S SCIENCE FRIDAY blog post the push-up is a common body weight exercise that some may wish to make the focus of a spring challenge this year. The basic version, which does not require additional equipment, is most often performed. There are variations that can make the movement easier for beginners, or more difficult for the advanced fitness enthusiast.
Simon Boulter wrote a helpful 2017 piece for medium.com describing a progression that allows beginner athletes to ease into the full exercise using proper form. Boulter explains that the “dip* and push-up go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly” and that both “are essential for building a body that is well balanced, well rounded, and ready for action at any time”.
Tthe article concentrates on the pushup, which Boulter points out, primarily builds strength in the shoulders, triceps, and pectoral muscles of the chest. Other muscles worked which stabilize the body during this move are the abdominals, the small muscles along the spine, the biceps of the arms, and the quadriceps of the legs
As Boulton indicates, “pushup exercises are as minimalist as it gets when it comes to equipment and locales required”. Only a floor is needed he says. I learned during my personal 2018 Summer Challenge VI, which involved training as if for an Obstacle Course Competition, that a running path, playground mat, or just a sandy beach will do too!
If building upper body strength will enable participation in upcoming fun summer sport events, spring might be a great time to begin training to perform pushups. Perhaps by Memorial Day you will be able to “drop and do 40” push-ups, which besides making you look tough, will be a general boost to living a long healthy life. Check the April 5 SCIENCE FRIDAY blog post for more on this topic.
RUN AND MOVE HAPPY!
*The ‘dips’ in this instance probably refers to chest dips rather than triceps dips, which are often alternated with pushups in upper body exercise routines. This link demonstrates how to perform the triceps dip.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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