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Push-ups: equipment not required

Published: January 15, 2016

Level 3 push-up (start position)
Level 3 push-up (start position)

Incorporating strength training exercises into your physical activity schedule may not be as challenging as you think. There are many strength training exercises which do not require equipment and can therefore be performed at home, in a hotel room, out of doors, or in the office.

Push-ups require no equipment other than a hard surface. Push-ups target the chest muscles and triceps, but the biceps, and muscles in the forearms and back are also involved in the movement.
In addition, your abdominal muscles are required to stabilise your body as you perform each push-up.
The basic push-up can be modified to suit different fitness levels.
The basic push-up
To effectively work the target muscles you need to be in the correct position for each push-up you perform. You also need to work to fatigue: that is, when your muscles tire so that you can no longer perform a push-up while maintaining the correct position.
A common training method is to perform 1 set of 10-12 push-ups and rest/stretch for 30 s. This set can be repeated 2 – 3 times. The intensity can be increased by increasing the number of repetitions in each set, and by modifying your push-up position (see below).
Level 1: beginner

  1. Kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor so that you are in an “all fours” position.
  2. Make sure that your back is straight and flat, and that your head is aligned with your spine (avoid looking down at the floor between your hands)
  3. Your hands should be placed on the floor either directly under your shoulders or slightly wider than your shoulders with your fingers pointing straight ahead.
  4. Your knees should be positioned aligned with your hips, and hip width apart.
  5. Brace your abdominal muscles by drawing your navel upwards towards your spine
  6. Bend your elbows...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Physical Activity  Exercise  Fitness  Muscles