Thanks to awkward gym-class flashbacks, the no-frills, multitasking pushup is usually overlooked, but this highly effective exercise deserves a spot in your fitness routine.
"People think pushups are all about the arms. They're actually one of the only total-body exercises," says mind-body fitness expert Ellen Barrett. Beyond strengthening biceps and triceps, pushups also tone the chest, shoulders, back, core, and legs.
If you're struggling, don't feel bad about bringing your knees to the floor. You'll learn alignment as you build necessary upper-body strength. Here's how to do it:
1. Start on your hands and knees. Keep hands under shoulders and index fingers parallel.
2. Step your legs back. Create one straight line from heels to head.
3. Press your heels back. Draw your navel in, and bring shoulder blades together.
4. Inhale as you bend your elbows, and try to hover an inch above the floor.
5. Exhale and push up to the starting position. Repeat nine more times.
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