Do yours correctly and you’ll be guaranteed of a firm core, strong triceps, sexy shoulders and a hot butt. Ready to rule your boot camp class? Do this progression and soon you’ll be mastering gold-standard push-ups.
Begin by using a low bench
Grasp its edge with a shoulderwidth grip and walk your feet back until your body forms a straight line, wrists under shoulders. Do a push-up. Let your chest touch the bench. The incline will make you feel lighter, but your body alignment preps you better for the real deal than push-ups on your knees. Aim for two or three sets of eight to 12 reps.
Next, go from the ground up
Lie face down on the floor with toes curled under, palms underneath shoulders. Tighten abs, glutes and quads as you press up to a plank. Hold. Repeat. Go for two or three sets of five to eight reps.
Now, lift your hands
Start on the floor in a plank on palms. Bend elbows to lower your body all the way so that you’re lying on floor. Then lift palms off the floor for a second or more. (At the start, take all the time you need down there.) Replant palms and push back up. This forces you to achieve the full range of motion of a push-up but also gives muscles a quick break to reset midway through the rep. Do two or three sets of five to eight reps. As you get stronger, move faster and add more reps. Then eliminate the hand release. Congrats – you’re officially a push-up rock star!
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Why you shouldn’t run on a flat treadmill
Sticking with a zero percent incline is slightly cheaty because it’s easier to run on that than on a flat road, thanks to the lack of wind resistance you’d get outside, says Zack Schares, a coach at the Mile High Run Club group treadmill studio in New York City. You may not feel it, but even a little resistance has a slow-down effect. “Set the treadmill’s incline to 1 percent to mimic that condition,” he says, which is what the Mile High coaches have their clients do. This also preps you for runs outdoors, where natural elements – like hills and curves – require more effort to go equally fast or far.
52% How much less likely people who did four types of exercise a month, including strength training and cardio, were to have short telomeres (caps at the ends of DNA strands). Take that as a cue to mix up your workouts. Longer telomeres go hand in hand with a longer life span.