There are lots of chest exercises you can do with weights and other resistance equipment, but the main body weight chest exercise is the push up. Although there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be able to do full push ups with training, most will need to start with modified versions. This push ups for women challenge uses 3 modified versions of the push up.
Benefits of push ups for women
Push ups mainly work the chest and triceps. Having firm, toned triceps muscles helps to avoid “bat wing” arms. Training the chest muscles helps to support the weight of the breasts and avoid sagging. The core muscles and shoulders are also used in push ups to stabilise the body.
About this push up challenge
The challenge starts with wall push ups. These are suitable for beginners and will help you to learn the push up technique and start to build strength. Then it progresses to incline push ups, which are a bit harder. You’ll need a chair for this to elevate your upper body. Make sure that you position the back of your chair against a wall so that it can’t slip. The third type of push up is on the floor. The weight is supported on the knees for these, but you need to be careful that it’s the top part of the knee in contact with the floor, not your knee cap.
Please read these safety guidelines before starting the challenge.
Arm circles to warm up
Before you do your push ups each day, warm up your arms, chest and shoulders with some arm circles. Stand with your feet about hip distance and then rotate your arms all the way round in front of your body. Do 3-5 in both inward and outward directions.
Push ups instructions
#1 Wall push ups
- Stand at arms length from the wall, feet hip distance apart.
- Place your palms on the wall at chest height, a bit wider than shoulder distance.
- Allow your arms to bend at your elbows as you lean towards the wall, keeping your body in a straight line.
- Push yourself away from the wall back to your starting position.
#2 Incline push ups
For the incline push up, you need to find something suitable to support your weight. Ideally, you should be able to have your hands a bit wider than shoulder distance, as in the wall push up. You could use a bench, a sofa or a bed for example. Whatever you use, make sure it is firmly in place and not going to slip.
- Once you have your hands in place on your support, walk your feet away, until your body and legs make a straight line.
- Bend your elbows as you lower your upper body towards your support, until your chin is close to it.
- Reverse the movement back to the starting position.
# 3 Knee push ups
- Start by getting into an all 4s position on the floor, with your hands below your shoulders.
- Now walk your hands away from your legs, at the same time as you lift your feet into the air. You are aiming for a position in which your body and upper legs form a straight line and the top part of your knee is in contact with the floor.
- Bend your arms at the elbows so that your head and upper body lower towards the floor. Look down at the floor so that your head stays in line with your body.
- When your chin is an inch from the floor, reverse the movement and come back up to your starting position.
These are the reps of the various push ups for the 30 days of the challenge.
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