Being strong is sexy, it’s also imperative for parenthood. During the month of October, AMC is challenging our active families to complete 10 push-ups a day. Push-ups are one of the best functional, total-body exercises you can do to boost your strength for the physical demands of everyday life (read more health benefits here). Completed with good form, a push-up can give you maximum muscle engagement of triceps, biceps, chest, back, abs, hip, and leg muscles. And really, what mama doesn’t doesn’t want tone, strong muscles.
Push-ups – you’re doing them but perhaps they don’t look so pretty. Fear not, we all have to start somewhere. Here are the three biggest mistakes when performing pushups:
Three Biggest Push-Up Mistakes
- Sagging your head towards the floor.
- Sagging your hips toward the floor (risk of injury to lower back)
- The angle of arms and hand placement.
4 Steps to Perfect Push-up Form
Whether you’re completing push-ups from your toes or modified from your knees you can perfect your form by eliminating mistakes with these four simple steps. And yes, even pregnant mamas can do push-ups too!
- To find ideal hand position, start by lying on your belly. Place your hands a few inches away from the side of your chest. Finger tips are pointed slightly away from your body. In order to maximize your ability to create force and get better leverage on each rep, keep your elbows closer to your body instead of flaring them out at a 90-degree angle. This shortens the lever arm, which gives you an immediate mechanical advantage when doing push-ups.
- Now that your hands and arms are in the correct position – to begin, get yourself up to your knees or toes to start push-ups. The inside crease of your elbows should be facing forward, this will ensure your shoulder blades stay pulled back and down. Engage your abs and back so the body is neutral. In other words, flat as a… plank!
- Inhale and lower yourself down to the floor with your elbows close to your sides – this will increase chest and shoulder involvement, and makes it more of a triceps-dominant movement. Go down as low as you can to be able to push yourself back up. Don’t let the butt sag or stick out at any point during the move; the body should remain flat from head to knees (or toes) all the way through the movement. (*Note, your thighs should not touch the ground at any point of movement.)
- Exhale as your drive your hips up and push back to starting position keeping. Here’s where the head with start to sag, keep your eyesight fixed to the floor directly under your head. BAM! You’re strong! That’s one rep, complete as many as you can with perfect form.
Share with us how your new and improved form feels as you continue practicing 10 push-ups a day with AMC’s Push-up Challenge. Post an image or video of you and your family members in action on AMC’s Facebook wall, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. Use the hashtag #AMCpushupChallenge.