Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Kymberly: Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Ears and eyes and mouth and nose. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Is that song stuck in your brain yet?
Now to get to bid-ness!
Thanks for the zippy question about push-ups, as we LOVE them! Start with full body (toe) push ups with as full a range of motion (ROM) as you can muster up with good form. In other words, get the chest as close to the ground as possible with your hands fairly wide. Even if you do just one or two full range push ups, start there. As soon as you have to sacrifice form or range of motion, switch to incline or knee push ups so you can achieve full ROM.
K: Take this approach for a week or two or five until you are up to a full set of full body push ups. At that time, still switch to the knee or incline ones once form goes, but take twice as long to push up as you did to drop down. For instance, count down for 2 counts, up for 4. This rhythm change will tax the arm muscles you are wanting to target while still working the back, chest, core. You will soon look MAHVAHLUSS!
Alexandra: My sis did a good job explaining what to do right, so I’ll comment on some of the “unique” things I see my students do that we are sure you won’t! Use a mirror to be sure.
* Butts up like they’re advertising for the weekend
* Hands above the head, which strains the shoulder area
* Butts down like a worm, which compresses the lumbar area
* Hinging from the hip and touching the forehead to the floor (quick anatomy tip: your chest is not in your forehead)
* Calling them boy and girl push ups, which makes us irritable
Remember, knee push ups are REAL push ups fair and square! For even more exciting (beyond belief) push up ideas, take a look at our Patriot Push Ups post.
Readers: How did you work up to full body push ups?
Saaay, while you’re here, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel?
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Do you want a quick and easy way to get in some exercise this holiday weekend?
Are you pressed for time?
Good news: We have a full-body, quick workout for you that requires no equipment. Heck, you can even do it at a roadside rest stop, although you might want a towel for the push-ups!
Whether you celebrate Easter or not, we hope you have a lovely, healthy, fun weekend! Now Drop and Give us 30!
Which do you prefer, planks or push-ups? Boxers or briefs?
Actually, we’ll quickly outline our day at IHRSA for you, and you can decide if it’s something that entices you!
7:00 a.m. Arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center after a 90 minute drive from Santa Barbara. Got our press badges in time to take a 7:15 workout at the Precor booth. More footage of that in our next installment of Harold & Kumar go to White Castle (er, Kymberly and Alexandra go to IHRSA).
8:00 a.m. Listened to a wonderfully “Enchanted” keynote speech by Guy Kawasaki.
9:00 a.m. Challenged Chuck Runyon, the CEO of Anytime Fitness to a push-up match-up. If you want to know why I’m counting to 212, you’ll have to read our Patriot Push-ups post. If you want to know why we love Chuck Funyon (that’s what we call him), you’ll have to listen to our radio interview him discussing his book “Working Out Sucks.”[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYgyKXrYaGg&context=C4907350ADvjVQa1PpcFPajXWkzgLidWf5uTvcgc2nNz0FnZUtWQ0=[/youtube]
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. We went up and down every single aisle of the Expo hall, checking out all the cool stuff. We were in fast forward, but not exactly as fast as in the video. And that Pavigym game floor was hysterical. For some reason, the lights wouldn’t change when I (Alexandra) pressed them – maybe because I have such a light touch!! A crowd gathered during our “testing activity phase” because we were laughing so hard. The Kangoo Jumps make me pee my pants (thanks a lot, big-headed kids of mine), but my kids loved trying this when they came to last year’s fitness convention with me. And the Queenax set-up is brillo (channeling my inner Brit). The video shows only a fraction of what can be done on the inversion rig.
6:00- 8:00p.m. We gathered up our stuff and went for dinner at a fairly bad restaurant, then drove home. We were so tired we didn’t even argue on the way home…much!
Reader Hot Flash: The people at IHRSA want fitness bloggers at this convention. Your press pass gets you into all the seminars too. Alexandra gave a presentation at the 2011 convention so she knows the topics & speakers are top-notch! And….if you don’t want to wait for a whole year to go to a great convention, check out the Blend Retreat in early May. . Much more intimate than the IHRSA convention, with lots to do. And it’s in Boulder, not smelly L.A. with the bad traffic.
Cool Flash: Anytime Fitness is giving you a 7-day free pass to try out their club. No strings attached, no push-ups required. They just gave it to us to share with you.
But we changed our minds when we met our new Twitter friend Joe Evans. Joe served three tours of duty in Afghanistan; one in Iraq. Alexandra mentioned that she’d do push-ups in his honor. Here’s his response:
(*OEF = Operation Enduring Freedom; OIF = Operation Iraqi Freedom)
Our friend Matthew Poster saw our tweets and put this out there:
Who could resist a challenge from two good-looking, fitness-oriented guys, especially considering that Joe has gone through way more on our behalf than simply having sore muscles?! One push-up for each American killed in action. Then we found out was exactly how high that number is!
Yes, you read that right: 6,347 Americans killed in action. So 6,347 push-ups. In one month. That works out to about 212 push-ups per day if you start today, the 2nd of January. Feeling shocked? Think you can’t achieve it? Perhaps you feel the same way Matthew did when he saw the number. We admit to being a little daunted ourselves, but as we always say here at Fun and Fit, “baby steps count” so we’ll start with the first one and work our way up and down and up from there!
Joe is going to do them too. So are we. You might be thinking, “What do push-ups have to do with honoring our servicepeople?” Probably not much. But when you think of the physical and mental rigors Joe and all his colleagues have gone through, 212 daily push-ups don’t seem so insurmountable, do they?
We’ll be on our knees after the first 50 or so. Possibly on our faces after the first 100. And by 101, we’ll figure out that we don’t have to do all 212 at once. Nor on the floor. Hey, wall push-ups count as real exercise! And keep in mind that the day has a lot of hours in it. You can kick out a quick 10 just waiting in line at the grocery store. We dare ya!
And before your typing finger goes numb from the push-ups, be sure to follow Joe and Matthew on Twitter and say hi. We totally
blame thank them for this idea. (We hope you follow us as well at @AlexandraFunFit and @KymberlyFunFit).
BTW, feel lucky Joe said “Americans” in his original tweet. Go here and you’ll see that the number for ALL the coalition forces killed in action is a whopping 7,649. We don’t even want to do the math for how many daily push-ups that would be!
Leave us a comment below to let us know you’re in. And when you tweet about it, use the hashtag #PatriotPushups so our servicemen and women will know you’re thinking about them. And when you’re not thinking of them, your muscles will remind you. We mean your buff, toned, taut, strong pecs, triceps, biceps, traps, and rhomboids thanks to taking part in the Patriot Push-Up Challenge.
To be eligible to win the free one-year membership, you just need to leave a comment below letting us know you’re part of the challenge. It’s on the honor system whether or not you finish, but why would someone lie about doing something to show we’re thinking of our troops? Feel free to tweet tweet (nope, that’s not a typo; check the links) us or let us know on Facebook how it’s going, but that’s not required. We’ve also put links above to Anytime Fitness in case you want to tweet them about your progress! We’ll pull one winner from a sweaty shoe on February 1st, 2012. Okay, we’ll really pull a winner’s name from a shoe, not an actual winner!
Kymberly: Oh, Stacey, I could kiss your plump and nicely toned cheek for giving us a saggy boobs question! Think of all the hits we’ll get when people type in the key word “boobs.” Yes, We will become the porn fitness leaders of the internet world instead of the highly respected pros we thought we once were. Alexandra, you had better handle this one as you are the one with the smaller (secret code for “deflated”) boobs. That’s what you get for losing all that weight yourself, Miss “I am now so trim and everyone thinks I am your younger sister, not twin.”
Alexandra: If your boobs (let’s call them “plumpers”) are saggy and clinging to your ribcage, who cares about your skin? You’ve got bigger problems. And how much of that extra 20-30 pounds can you realistically blame on the saggers? I’d go for 10 pounds. So you only have another 10-20 to go! You are part way to your goal already. Do you like push-ups? Sure, you do. Every woman I’ve ever met loves them (Ahahaaaaaaa). But if you can get some muscle tone going all that sag, you’ll look perky and youthful.
But what if you don’t like push ups?. Here’s what you do: lie on your back on a mat or bench or even your bed (if it’s an extra-firm mattress). Do you have some weights? You are not off the hook if you don’t. Just grab a few bags of beans or cans of sauce from your cabinet – they can be your weights. I’ll let Kymberly describe your chest press form while I go check the mirror to assess my perky youthful qualities!
Kymberly: Good try foisting the chest press description on me. I want to emphasize the push-up option. Alexandra is so right that the secret to retaining firm frontage while working on weight loss (a separate question addressed in these posts: Best Workouts to Burn Fat for Women Over 50 and Managing Weight as You Age ) is to build up the musculature underneath. Push-ups are free, available everywhere, easy to pack, and the perfect option for lift and anti-sag. As your pec (chest) muscles strengthen underneath the breast tissue, you will have the internal support to get the look and lift you want. Push-ups also strengthen the mid and upper back muscles, which will assist in holding you erect.
Another KEY component to keeping the girls (also now known as your “plumpers”) up while bringing the weight down is posture. Standing tall, proud, and extended instead of rounded or even slightly hunched is like losing five pounds visually in a nano-second. If you want to assess your posture, try our quick test and check out the posts we link to in Look Younger and Thinner Instantly with Better Posture.
Now when we recommend push-ups, we suggest you start with your hands and knees on the floor and aim for ten push-ups, three to five times a week for a couple of weeks. Get some good suggestions on knee to toe push ups here. From there, strive to whip out (no, not the plumpers, you rascal) fifteen push-ups. Once you are comfortable with fifteen knee push-ups, try five on your hands and toes and ten more on your hands and knees.
Discover whether your push up form is fab or faulty by clicking our post, Push Ups: Wrong and Right Way
The goal is to work up to about twenty toe push-ups every other day. Give yourself two months or so to get to that goal. Not only will you see a positive difference in your cleavage, but also you will be on your way to weight loss and some pretty nice arms and posture. Locked and loaded!
Alexandra: What? Is that a math problem? If 5 push-ups are travelling toward 10 trains, at what speed will you crash on the carpet? Get a good bra and take a nap. Nah, get to work. Put a nice bowl of water on the floor and take a slurp each time you drop down on the push-ups. Not only will you know you dropped far enough down, but all that liquid will help your skin get ever so plumpy!
Awesome Action: When you are done with your water slurping and math accented push ups, subscribe to our blog. Get your FREEBIE download and active aging answers twice a week but only if you want to look, feel and move more youthfully!