Pushups. Everyone knows them. They are one of the most common and best exercises to build strength. But they are also extremely difficult.
The difficulty translates to intimidation, and most people shy away from them. But the reality is that they are extremely beneficial in building core and upper body strength to help enhance independence and quality of life.
You might not be ready to drop to the floor and start doing pushups quite yet. At least properly. And doing pushups properly is essential to avoiding injury and getting the true benefits.
To perform a pushup, you need good core strength to protect your hips from sagging and back from arching. When those things happen or your shoulders flare out, you risk injury to your neck, back, shoulders, and hips.
A proper pushup has your ankles, hips, back, neck, and head in a straight line through the entire motion. Your shoulders will align over your wrists, and there will be a slight tuck to your elbows.
It’s okay if you can’t do it right now. There are some easier moves to help you build enough strength to get you there.
One is an elevated pushup. This is where you essentially perform a standing pushup using a wall or countertop.
Planks can help build the core strength you need to perform a proper pushup. Planking involves holding your body in a straight line, slightly unparallel to the floor, for a given period of time. Try to do as many 10-second reps as you can, gradually increasing intervals.
Flutter kicks can help with core and hip strength. You can do these by lying on your back and bending at the hip so both legs are off the ground at about a 150-degree angle. Next, start kicking your legs up and down, alternating between legs.
Once you’ve built some strength, you can try to get down and do proper pushups. If you’re not there yet, you can try doing modified pushups on your knees.