Believe it or not, I am not talking about coffee. I am talking about your exercises! Many exercises have a choice of caffeinated (higher intensity) or decaffeinated (lower intensity.) When you go to your gym, whether it is your basement or the local park, your environment offers you a variety of ways to complete various exercises. A great exercise that can be done in a variety of settings is the push-up. The push up works the arms, chest and shoulders. It is a great exercise for everyone – including the ladies! Move over men! We want to look good in a tank top too all while juggling the babies around.
If you currently do not have the upper body strength to complete a regular push up, it does not mean that you cannot do a decaffeinated version of a push up! If you have access to a wall, a set of stairs or a raised and supportive surface, you can complete a decaffeinated push up. Stand at arms’ length with finger tips against the wall with your feet facing forward. You can either lay your palms flat against the wall or make fists. Of these two hand positions, the latter of the two works extremely well if you have any arthritis, carpal tunnel or tendinitis issues. While looking directly at the wall, lower your body toward the wall. During the movement, brace your abdominals by pulling your belly button into your spine as if you are bracing against a punch and keep your back as stiff as a board. In other words – no sagging! Protect that lower back! Press away from the wall just before your forehead touches. If you forget to do the last step once, I guarantee you won’t ever forget again! Work yourself up to 30 repetitions. Once you can complete 30, without being sore the next day, find a lower surface.
If you started on the wall, move to stairs and work yourself lower and lower until you reach the floor. Once you get to the floor, or maybe you want to jump right into the caffeinated version and start on the floor, your plane of motion changes, so your contact points change. Your hands and your knees (or your feet) are now the contact points. Your hands are directly under your shoulders to protect your shoulders by stacking your joints. Lower your body toward the floor, again while bracing your abdominals by pulling that belly button into your spine and keeping your back stiff as a board. Press away from the floor before you touch it.
For any new dads or moms that need to multitask, this is also a great exercise to do with your baby! With your bundle of motivation on his or her back, get into your caffeinated push up position, with his or her feet between your arms. While lowering toward the floor and your baby, you can easily talk or sing to him or her! See how fast those pushups go by!
Now go give it try!
[Tweet “Caffeinated? Or Decaffeinated? via @bcherryfit #BusinessTips”]