Push Up, Trim Down

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If push-ups bring forth the dim (and grim) memory of gym class, stay with us for a minute while we discuss the benefits.

This very portable exercise eliminates the need for free weights or exercise machines. With a pushup, you’re working with–and against the weight of–your own body to strengthen your upper body, including your chest (pectoral) muscles and those at the back of your arms (triceps). Push-ups also work your deltoids, at the front of your shoulders.

Another benefit of push-ups is better balance.

And remember, just as the longest journey starts with a single step, your ability to do push-ups starts by doing just one.

For readers new to push-ups since grade school, click here and scroll down. Read first about push-ups done against the wall, a fine way to begin. Start by doing just a few and repeat the next day. Thereafter, add one to your daily workout, increasing your strength until you can do a set–five push-ups, say, with a brief rest before you do another five.

Check the photos for guidance on working your way up (down, really) to doing floor push-ups. The pictures show push-ups done against a counter, from your knees, and finally from your feet.

One of my patients does push-ups against her desk every day around 3, when her energy flags, and also in her hotel room on business trips, with a fresh towel on the floor.

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