Pushing Those Push Ups
While on the job, you may encounter a whole host of unpredictable situations and obstacles. When facing physically demanding circumstance, maintaining optimal physical fitness will not only allow you to adequately execute the duties of your position, it will keep you safe and in control.
Upper arm strength allows you to be prepared for any situation. Thankfully, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to improve your performance. Simple push-ups, when done correctly and regularly, will build muscle, help you stay fit, and fulfill any physical fitness tests or standards.
How Do I Start?
Begin by establishing your base abilities. Can you complete one push up? Two? Three? None at all? No matter where you are when you start, rest assured that with regular training and proper form, you will achieve your goals. Establishing your current capabilities and being honest about your limitations will help you more accurately chart your progress and improve your overall muscle strength.
Form is also crucial. Focusing on using your muscles in the right way will establish muscle memory and prevent injury.
Finally, don’t forget your rest days. Pushing your limits and improving your body’s fitness may be the ultimate goal, but remember that any injury will set you back and that even the most elite athletes understand the need to mend and recuperate.
We recommend the following training schedule (once you can easily complete one level, move up to the next challenge):
- Stage 1 – Focus on Basics
Begin with basic push-ups, and steadily increase the number until you can easily complete one or more sets of ten. For push-ups, it’s important to pay attention to your core strength, engaging the muscles in your back, abs, and glutes to form a straight line from heels to head. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart, pinching your shoulder blades together.
- Stage 2 – Increase Intensity
Increase resistance by raising your feet off the ground (the higher your feet, the more pressure on your shoulders), or changing the position of your hands.
- Stage 3 – Increase Volume
Increase your sets to a total of 3 sets of 8 repetitions three times a week.
When you begin any fitness routine, make sure you maintain the proper form and always start slowly. Allowing your body to incrementally adjust to arduous physical labor will go a long way towards helping you gain strength. Practicing the right form and establishing a workout routine will provide you with the fundamental building blocks of fitness.
Make sure to consult a physician before embarking on any diet or fitness routine!