Healthy Byte: Quality Not Quantity

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Photographer Benjamin Von Wong

It’s no secret that there are a plethora of factors that might make your workouts less frequent. When you’re stuck juggling work, running errands and still trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, there just aren’t enough hours in the day! Or, perhaps you simply haven’t grown fond of the whole fitness scene, and working out just feels like a daunting chore.

Working out, however, is an essential ingredient in maintaining a healthy body—mentally and physically. But, the best part is, you don’t have to devote hours every day to hitting the gym to see results. We spoke with celebrity trainer Ashley Borden, and YouTube fitness star and founder of Fit Strong and Sexy workout regimen Amanda Russell, to figure out the least amount of time you can work out and still transform your body.

It all comes down to quality over quantity. “It’s really not about the time at all—it’s about the quality of what you’re doing. So you could put in 80 hours a week and see no results, and you could but in three hours a week and see incredible results,” says Russell. In fact, working out for longer at a high intensity can bring you less-efficient results because the longer you work out, the more you have to lower the intensity, which completely changes the exercise. “If you’re doing [high intensity exercises] right, you physically couldn’t be able to do them longer,” Russell explains.

Borden is on the same page when it comes to intensity over time. Her 10-minute workout suggestion is to warm up for two minutes using a foam roller and doing active stretches, and then take eight minutes to do the following: 20 seconds of mountain climbers and 10 seconds of rest four times; 20 seconds of lateral bounds and 10 seconds of rest four times. “That is 10 minutes and you have worked out your entire body with just your body weight. Pushing your intensity and pace is what will dictate the speed of your results.” Her minimum recommendation, however, is full-body strength training and high intensity interval workouts three times each week.

The best part of using just your body weight is that you can do it anywhere, no equipment required. Russell, whose online platform is based on the idea of programs that take up less time, is a huge advocate of that workout technique. “You want something you can literally do in your hotel or bedroom. Your body is hands down the best tool you have.”

All that said, not everyone is built alike, which may be a factor in how often you need to hit the gym. As Borden explains, ectomorphs are on the leaner side and have narrow hips, mesomorphs have round and long muscles and a small waist and endomorphs have thicker bodies with wider hips. One is not better than the other, but it just means you have to work out differently. “An ectomorph would have to focus on eating and getting enough healthy calories in a day,” whereas an “endomorph body would like more of a mix of steady state cardio and short high intensity type of workouts.”

While you make your workouts less frequent, you can make some lifestyle changes to help out your health in the long run. Borden recommends focusing on your posture throughout the day, and emphasizes the importance of water. “Start with half your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 160 pounds, you would try to drink 80 oz daily.” Striving for a nutritional diet is also a huge factor, as the foods you put into your body are reflected on the outside. According to Russell, your diet is 90 percent of the deal.

So, luckily for all you busy-bees or gym foes, the overarching point is that, as long as you give it your all, you do not have to stress over the time commitment of exercising. “The busiest people on the planet will either say that they don’t have time to work out, or that they never skip a workout. That’s where it falls into the priority zone for them,” says Russell. No more excuses—grab your sneakers or your yoga mat, and get to it.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Elevating the Push Up

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If you feel standard Push-Ups are too easy, perhaps it’s time for some variation. Hindu Push-Ups are a fantastic option for athletes of all ability levels to obtain the muscular pectorals that are necessary for strength, power and effective posture, movement and stability—all things athletes should be concerned with.

Hindu Push-Ups can be superior to Bench Presses for a few reasons:

  • By being able to manipulate the position of your body, you can create more tension in your chest, a key component for building muscle.
  • Bodyweight exercises are excellent for improving the mind-muscle connection, so you can create greater tension within the target muscle.
  • Because no external weight is involved, most athletes aren’t tempted to do more than they are capable of just to appear stronger or to stroke their ego.

The best way to include Hindu Push-Ups in your programming is to use them as an assistance exercise. Assistance exercises can be used for injury prevention and/or muscle hypertrophy, making them more suited to moderate to high reps (6-12-plus).

Although you can manipulate your body to make this movement more difficult, it isn’t a great option for maximal strength development. Instead, you should perform Hindu Push-Ups after you’ve done a maximal strength-focused movement like the Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press.

To start, perform 3 sets of 6-12 repetitions after you finish your maximal strength exercises for the day. For example, start your workout with Barbell Bench Press for 3 sets of 3 reps. After you finish all sets and reps of the Bench Press, do Hindu Push-Ups for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Programming Push-Ups as a finisher (the last sets of the training session) also works extremely well on upper- and full-body days.

How to Perform Hindu Push-Ups

1) Assume a push-up position with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your core tight and back flat.

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2) Push your torso backward and raise your butt up to move into a pike position so your body forms an inverted V.

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3) Bend your elbows to lower your upper chest to the ground while keeping your butt up. As you lower your chest, drop your butt down so your body is in a straight line when you’re closest to the ground.

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4) Straighten your arms to push your chest up, but allow for a slight arch in your back similar to the yoga Upward Dog position.

 5) From this position, push your torso backward and repeat the sequence beginning at Step 2.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: 8-Minute Workout ANYWHERE!

This 8-minute workout is broken down into 16 different 30-second intervals — including moves to warm you up and cool you down some. For each interval, you can take it as hard or as easy as you want. If you want to make it a true HIIT session, then really push yourself to do as many reps as you can of each move per interval. If you’re wanting to take it easier (say, you’re doing this over your lunch break and don’t have access to a shower), then take your intensity down a notch. It’s up to you! No matter how fast you do it, you’ll be working your entire body — and getting strength and cardio work in at the same time. Plus, we think it’s totally fun. And, only 8 minutes, so totally doable!

1. March in place. Think about what you want to get out of this workout today.

2. Jog in place. Think about why you’re doing this workout today.

3. Jumping jacks. Be sure to reach all the way up and touch your hands overhead.

4. Squats. If you need a refresher on proper squat form, read this. And if squats are too easy, try jump squats.

5. Mountain climbers. Really try to get your feet up and near your hands.

6. Plank on your hands. Oh, the fun is just getting started in plank.

7. Side plank to the right. If you need to drop down to a knee, that’s totally cool.

8. Side plank to the left. Again, feel free to modify down to that knee.

9. Reverse plank. Keep those hips lifted! Almost done with the planks, we swear.

10. Plank on your forearms. If you need a break, come into down dog, and then get right back in it as soon as you can.

11. Dance party. After all of those planks, you deserve a 30-second impromptu dance party, don’t ya think?

12. Forward lunges. Don’t let that knee go past your front toe for proper alignment.

13. Jumping lunges. If these are too intense, try backward lunges.

14. Burpees. You’re in the home stretch! After this, we start cooling down. So give this one your all!

15. Left to right side touches. Bring that heart rate down. Think about what you got out of your workout today.

16. Big inhales and exhales as you reach your arms over ahead and back down again. Think about your why again. And then feel really freakin’ proud of yourself.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Workout Smarter Not Longer

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What if you could get all the benefits of a sweaty bike ride and a trip to the weight room in 7 minutes?

There’s an app for that — and it’s the best one we saw this past year.

Originally envisioned by a personal trainer and an exercise physiologist, the 7-minute workout app builds on new research suggesting that short spurts of intense exercise can provide long lasting benefits comparable to longer, more grueling regimens.

Anyone can use the app — all it takes is a smartphone, a spare wall, and a chair.

The Workout

The 7-minute session (which was so successful it inspired the New York Times to release their own version of the app a few months after the original came out) consists of 12 relatively standard exercises like jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups. Ten of them require nothing but your own body (you’ll need a chair that can support your weight for the other two).

times 7-minute workoutHere’s the Times app counting down: 18 more seconds of jumping jacks. Screenshot

Here’s the full set of exercises, which I tried out myself:

1. Jumping Jacks

2. Wall sits

3. Push-ups

4. Crunches

5. Step-up (on chair)

6. Squats

7. Triceps dips (on chair)

8. Planks

9. High knees/running in place

10. Lunges

11. Push-ups and rotations

12. Side planks

Between each exercise, you rest for 10 seconds.

Worth The Hype?

The workout is quick, unpleasant (in the way only a good workout can be), and came with some pretty quick results — I was slightly sore in two areas of my body that my 5-day-a-week yoga regimen hasn’t seemed to have reached. I also noticed a little bit of extra mental clarity and decreased anxiety (which is why I do yoga) immediately after the workout.

Another plus to the 7-minute-regimen: I live in a New York apartment with very little extra space, but I was nevertheless able to do the whole workout in a corner of my living room using just my phone, a yoga mat, and a fold-up chair.

A Few Caveats

7-minute workout times appThe Times app illustrates how to do a wall sit. Screenshot

As expected, the physical benefits didn’t seem to last quite as long as my 1.5-hour yoga sessions. While my heart raced and my mind cleared for a few minutes immediately after the workout, those side effects wore off within a few hours. I only did it twice, though, so perhaps if I committed to a daily 7-minute workout the benefits would persist.

Also, since this specific workout is so new, there are no long-term studies comparing its results to those of longer cardio and weight-training workouts. In general, though, the evidence researchers do have supports the benefits of high-intensity intervals, both in terms of building muscle mass and improving heart health.

Even for patients with coronary artery disease, short bouts of intense interval training were found to be more beneficial in helping them regain heart function than traditional, continuous workouts — though anyone with a heart condition should consult a doctor before trying a new exercise routine.

The Science

The workout is based on the idea of interval training, an exercise style of short, intense periods of exercise broken up by brief periods of rest. Despite being far less time consuming, an interval workout may actually be more beneficial than a comprehensive, hours-long bout of exercise, according to some research done in the past decade.

So instead of a grueling one-hour run followed by weight-lifting, for example, you can do several minutes’ worth of intense push-ups, squats, and jumping jacks for similar results.

That’s pretty significant considering that many of us skip working out because we feel we don’t have enough time, because the weather is bad, or because a gym membership is too expensive.

The Mayo Clinic endorses interval training, as does the American Council on Exercise. A 2012 study comparing two groups of runners — one who trained by doing traditional, continuous runs and another which did interval training — found both groups achieved nearly the same results (the only difference being that the interval trainers had better peak oxygen uptake, an important measure of endurance). And a recent study in the journal Diabetologia found that doing walking interval training — walking briskly for three minutes and resting for three minutes for an hour — helped people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels far better than simply walking at the same pace continuously.

The most important thing when doing interval training is committing as much effort as possible throughout the whole workout, making sure to push yourself. After all, each exercise only lasts 30 seconds.

Seven hellish minutes later, you’re done.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: Day 1030

Perfect PU

For anyone who has followed me for awhile knows that I am intrinsically a bit lazy. I don’t particularly hold a fondness for exercise nor do I particularly detest exercise. I nothing exercise in the sense that it is just something I have incorporated into my life in order to stay healthy. It’s kind of like kids and high school. There are those who spring out of bed everyday with a ear-to-ear smile who truly adored high school. There are those who absolutely hated every waking moment of high school. Then there are those of us mucks who endured it because it was a necessary milestone to endure. Fitness to me is just that – a necessity to staying healthy – not a choice.

This is the primary reason that my personal fitness motto is ‘biggest bang for my workout buck!’ (BBWOB) Essentially, I want to do the bare minimum in the least amount of time.  I need an exercise which will build muscle, tone / define, and can be accomplished in as few movements as possible. And let me just toss out a disclaimer that I am not certified personal trainer nor am I any sort of fitness expert. I do however, am a little nerdy and spend hours in researching the latest & most efficient workout trends so that I can always maximize the results with minimum effort. This BBWOB approach is just what has worked for me in not only keeping the near 40lbs off for 2+ years but it has given me body definition I never thought possible. So please keep in mind what works for me may not be the right answer for you.

Now that is out of the way …

When I was transitioning from weight loss to maintaining, I slowly shifted my workout from all cardio to cardio with some form of strength training. Now when I hear strength training, my knee-jerk reaction is to think of traditional weight lifting; which sucks the happiness right out of my soul! Not because I hold any malice inclination towards the activity but because I know enough to comprehend the amount of time required to invest in it (refer to first sentence). I have always found the ‘heavy / serious’ lifting section of any gym to be very intimidating. It just makes me feel absurdly out-of-place, awkward, and reminiscent of being back in junior high school at that very first boy-girl dance. You know the one where all the girls tries to play it cool making small talk on one side of the gym while the boys awkwardly contemplate the distinct possibility of a public ‘no’ on the other? YES – that level of awkwardness. I can’t even tell you why but the minute I step on to the thick rubber mats in the free weight section of any gym I immediately feel like a fish out of water.

Aside from a major case of the inept, for the Ordinary Jane / Joe who is only looking to tone and define, who is not looking to bulk & exponentially increase muscle mass, enter physique/body competitions, or have any aspirations to be a serious weight lifter, the abundant time investment seem to be a bit of an overkill. However, the core concept of working muscle groups was a good one and it inspired me to look for exercises which targets the largest muscle groups in one or two movements.

Enter compound exercises. Compound exercise is defined as “… any exercise that involves the use of more than one major muscle group at a time. Typically, there is one larger muscle group that ends up doing the majority of the work, and then one or more smaller muscle groups that are recruited secondarily” (Source: A Workout Routine). One of the major benefits of many staple compound exercises can be done equipment free also known as bodyweight strength training. The dynamic dual allows me to work multiple muscles at once and no or very little equipment required was a natural win-win for me.

So here is a sample of my typical workout:

  • WHAT: Elliptical in various squat positions
  • DURATION: 30 minutes on high resistance. When the resistance gets too easy I bump it up. Started at Level 2 now I am at Level 6.
  • MUSCLE GROUPS: Quads, Hamstring, Glutes, Calves, Heart (cardio)
  • BBWOB TIP: No Time to Read – This exercise should never be easy enough to leisurely read while on the elliptical. If you can then it’s time to bump up the resistance to the next level!

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  • WHAT: Three forms of Push Ups (Tricep, Regular, Wide Arm) 
  • DURATION: As many as I can pump out without falling on my face. Typically I do about 30-65 push ups in total. 
  • MUSCLE GROUPS:  Chest, Shoulders, Back, Bicep, Tricep, Abs 
  • BBWOB TIP: Quality over Quantity – In order to maximize the benefits form matters. For the first few workouts, do push ups long ways of a mirror to check body positioning. Generally in the upright push up position, visually the body, arms and floor should form an almost right angle (See fitness model photo above).

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  • WHAT: Three forms of Planks (Regular, High, Arms Up)
  • DURATION: 1 minute hold between each Push Up set
  • MUSCLE GROUPS: Abs, Chest, Shoulders, Upper Back, Bicep, Tricep, Quads, Hamstring, Glutes, Calves
  • BBWOB TIP: Form Matters – Again form is key. In addition to planking in front of a mirror try positioning the hands face down or face up.

  • WHAT: Three forms of Pull Ups (Bicep Curls, Shoulder Width, Wide)
  • DURATION: As many as I can pump out without falling on my face. Typically I do about 10-30 pull ups in total.
  • MUSCLE GROUPS: Lats, Shoulders, Back, Bicep, Tricep, Abs, Quads
  • BBWOB TIP: Quality over Quantity – Instead of trying to do a gazillion mediocre pull up, try doing 3 perfect ones. Pull up fast then release slowly for an extra umph to the lats.

TOTAL WORKOUT TIME: 45 – 55 minutes (depending if I have to wait for the pull up bar). Six times a week with one rest day.

As you can see, there is not one exercise where I am not working multiple major muscle groups. This is how I get the BBWOB.

P.S. Will be phasing out the planks and replacing with this in the next few weeks:

  • WHAT: Full Hanging (Knee) Leg Raise (Progression Goals: Hang for 20-30 seconds →  Knee raise →  Eventually full leg raise → Add twist for extra oblique focus)
  • DURATION: As many as I can pump out without falling on my face. Reps is TBD.
  • MUSCLE GROUPS: (Core) Upper & Lower Abs, Oblique, Lats, Hip Flexors, Quads, Back, Grip Strength

GOAL #1: Modified Hanging Leg Raise

ULTIMATE GOAL: Full Hanging Leg Raise

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

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Healthy Byte: Train Like a Ninja

The American Ninja Warrior Workout

You might forget about boxing when you learn about a new fighting workout. (Photo: Marjorie Korn)

At a petite 4’ 11″, Kacy Catanzaro invokes the fearsomeness of a Peter Pan understudy. It’s a bit hard to imagine she’s the leading woman on American Ninja Warrior, a show that asks contestants to scale walls, run up vertical ramps and fling themselves between wobbly polls like a flying squirrel. She was also the first woman to complete their near-impossible finals course (you can see this in all its glory here). Catanzaro, who is now sponsored by Pom, and boyfriend, coach, and fellow ninja Brent Steffensen believe that even non-ninjas can mirror their daily strength workout — though we’ll understand if you’re skeptical after watching the video. They break it down in this six-move workout that will ready you to Spiderman up a 30-foot elevator shaft along with look and feel a whole lot fitter.

The Three Rules of Ninja Workouts

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

1. No weights.

Other athletes use weights to increase the difficultly of their workouts and gain strength. This agenda isn’t for ninjas, because their aim is to be as lean as possible. Ninjas are concerned with high, fast reps at bodyweight and transitioning quickly from movement to movement to work different muscle groups, and simulate the diverse challenges of the course.

2. No rest.
Ninjas focus on increasing the number of reps in a given work period and decreasing the rest time between intervals. This makes sense because each obstacle on the course takes one or a few “reps” of a given movement and there’s no down time between obstacles. That means that need to keep muscles and lungs primed, and practice getting in the headspace to keep going.

3. No show-off moves
You’d think ninjas would be looking constantly for things to jump onto. In fact, their movements are often equipment-free and low-risk. No box jumps, for instance, because they can lead to twisted ankles or nasty scrapes. No one-arm push-ups either, which have little pay-off in strength terms, and force shoulders to contort in awkward ways. Their rule of thumb: If you’re doing a movement just because it looks cool, skip it.

Handstand Push-Up

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

Beginner
Do a traditional push-up. Focus on good form: Keep back flat, abs engaged, and elbows tight to your body; chest should hit as close to the ground as possible without using belly to press off the ground to the top.

Intermediate
Pike push-up using a box or a bench. Keep your feet on the box or bench, and plant hands in front of you so your torso is vertical or near vertical. Perform a push-up, keeping hips piked high in the air. This helps build shoulder strength and mobility, and gets you used to being upside down.

Ninja-Level
Go for the full handstand push-up. Facing a wall, kick up into a handstand. Hold a hollow-body position, tightening your glutes, and keeping your shoulders down and abs engaged. Lower head down to the floor, then push through the floor back to start. When this becomes easy, practice deficit HSPUs, with your hands on weight plates, to increase the range of motion.

Related: 10 Ways to Do a Push-Up

Lunges

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

Beginner
Start with a traditional lunge. Keep your front knee over your ankle and tap back knee to the ground, practicing balance and control throughout the movement

Intermediate
Lunge with a kick. At the bottom of the lunge, push through the heel of your front leg to stand up and kick; return to start. Switch legs and repeat. This progression helps build explosive power one leg at a time.

Ninja-Level
Jumping lunges/Jumping kicking lunges. Explode out of the bottom of the lunge to switch legs. Progress to kicking out of the bottom of the lunge, and then switching legs.

Pull-Ups

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

Beginner
Static hangs from the bar and ring rows. With shoulders down and engaged, hang onto a pull-up bar, aiming to increase your time with each hang. Build shoulder strength with ring rows, increasing your angle to the ground over time by putting your feet on a chair or box until you are horizontal.

Intermediate
Pull-ups. Practice control throughout the whole movement. Start from a dead hang, and pull yourself fully over the bar, so it’s level with your clavicle.

Ninja-Level
Push ups + lateral movement. Use a neutral grip, and at the top of the pull-up, shift your weight so you move your upper body to be centered over your right hand, then shift it so it’s centered over your left hand, chest moving laterally across the bar. (This is an exception to the “don’t look cool” rule—it is both functional and a crowd-pleaser.)

Tuck Jumps

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

Beginner
Arms-free jumps. Squat to just above parallel, arms to your sides, jump up and point your toes, then land softly on the balls of your feet. These help you build leg strength and explosive power.

Intermediate
Tuck jump. Begin with knee bent at 90 degrees, then explode up, bringing knees as close to the chest as possible while recovering in enough time to land softly. This takes the place of box jumps and has two major advantages: It forces you to practice landing softly to avoid injury, and it’s a better cardio workout, because the box jump forces you to take a momentary rest at the top before you make your way down.

Ninja-Level
Perform one leg tuck jumps, trying to maintain your balance from the start of the movement through the landing. Like all single-legged movements, this will help identify strength differences and improve balance.

V-Ups

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

Beginner
Tuck up. Lie flat with your arms extended behind your head. Keeping your back straight and shoulders away from your ears, lift your torso and knees simultaneously, reaching your fingers toward your toes. Hold for a second at the top, then lower slowly.

Intermediate
V-up. Same as the tuck-up movement, but keep your legs and arms extended. Work on increasing the number of reps and slowing the time you take to lower to the ground while maintaining a hollow position.

Ninja-Level
Straight leg bicycle tuck. Lie on your back and kick your legs straight up. Put your hands behind your head. Lift your torso, and scissor your body to touch your left elbow to your right knee while maintaining straight legs. Repeat on the other side. This one is more about speed and keeping your core engaged, so work on increasing reps in short periods of time.

Finger Strength

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(Photo: Marjorie Korn)

This is an often-overlooked skill that’s essential to your workouts (think gripping a barbell or rower handle), as well as everyday life (like playing guitar). Unlike the other five moves, these exercises may feel more foreign. Progress slowly as you gain strength and familiarity to avoid injury.

Beginner
Counterbalanced static holds. Stand on a bench or box positioned under a pull-up bar. Grip the bar with only your fingers, and bend your knees to use some, but not all of your bodyweight, to pull you down. Hold on for as long as possible.

Intermediate
Static holds with full bodyweight. Practice increasing your time in the finger-hold position.

Ninja-Level
Shifting static holds. Shift your bodyweight between your hands, holding on with just your fingers.

Originally Posted HERE

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Healthy Byte: New Spin on Push Ups

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These creative twists promise bigger calorie burn, a more stable core and a stronger upper body.

There’s a reason push-ups have stood the test of time—they work. “It’s a multi-joint exercise that targets your pecs, triceps, deltoids, abdominals and all of your key muscle stabilizers,” says Lucas Varella, a Tier 4 coach in Century City, California. “Plus, it doesn’t require any equipment, so you can perform push-ups anytime, anywhere.” The only catch is that in order to see results (and avoid injury), you have to do them correctly: Keep your head, neck and spine in a neutral position, your abs engaged and your lower body muscles (hips, glutes, etc.) activated throughout the movement.

How it works: Perform one traditional push-up using good form. Work your way up to 3 sets of 8. Once you can complete those without faltering, you’re ready to move on to these variations. “Mixing up your hand positioning and body movements will challenge different muscles, burn more calories and test your endurance,” says Varella. Tackle one of these exercises at a time. Do 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, using proper form, and then move on to the next one.

The Push-Ups You Should Be Doing

1. Plank-Ups
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, back flat, legs extended behind you, toes tucked under). Keeping upper body engaged, lower right forearm to floor, placing elbow under shoulder, then lower left forearm to floor. Hold plank for one count, and then rise back up to start, placing one palm on floor at a time.

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2. Mountain Climber Push-Up
Start in push-up position, and bring right knee in toward chest; extend leg behind you, and then immediately bring left knee in toward chest; extend leg behind you. Perform a push-up, keeping elbows by sides. Repeat.

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3. Bird-Dog Push-Up
Perform a push-up, keeping elbows by sides. Extend right arm in front of you and left leg behind you; hold balance for one count, then lower. Do another push-up, and repeat balance on other side (left arm; right leg). Repeat.

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4. Push-Up Row
Start in push-up position, gripping a kettlebell* in each hand, with palms facing each other. (*Note: The bigger the kettlebell, the more stable you will feel.) Bend elbows behind you, keeping them close to sides, lowering chest toward floor, and then press back up. Once up, pull left elbow behind you, bringing kettlebell up to ribs; lower. Repeat push-up and perform row on the opposite (right) side. Continue alternating sides with each rep.

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5. Uneven Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, back flat, legs extended behind you), with left hand on top of the ball part of a horizontal kettlebell. Without rotating your torso, keeping hips and shoulders square, bend elbows behind you, lowering chest toward floor, and press back up. Do 8 reps; switch sides and repeat.

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6. Side Plank Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, back flat, legs extended behind you). Lower chest toward floor, and then as you press back up, rotate torso to left and keep gaze on your left hand, as you lift your left arm and leg toward the ceiling, forming an X with your body. Hold for one count; rotate back to high plank and repeat.

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7. Sliding Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, back flat, legs extended behind you), with a towel under your left palm. Slowly slide left hand forward, as you bend right elbow behind you and lower chest toward floor. Without falling flat, extend left arm as far forward as possible, and then slowly slide back up to start, keeping arm straight throughout. Do 8 reps; switch sides and repeat.

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8. Stability Ball Scissors
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, legs extended and together behind you), with tops of feet centered on a stability ball. Bring right knee in toward chest, then rotate torso slightly as you extend leg out, parallel to the ground. Perform a push-up, keeping body squared up as much as possible. Reverse motion back to start. Repeat on left side. Continue alternating sides with each rep.

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9. Traveling Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, legs extended behind you). Perform a push-up, and then step right leg under and to the left of your left leg and right hand under and to the side of left hand. Step left hand and leg over the right, moving back into push-up position. Perform a push-up, and then reverse motion (left hand/leg steps over right; right goes under left) back to the right (ending where you started.

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10. Pike Push-Up
Start in a pike position (upside down “V”), with palms under shoulders, toes centered on top of a stability ball, legs together, hips raised toward ceiling. Keeping lower body still, bend elbows behind you, slowly lowering head toward floor; carefully press back up to start.

Originally Posted HERE

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