Thursday, September 19, 2013

Push-ups and pull-ups! A great 1, 2 combination

Nothing conveys fitness more than a strong looking upper body. When you see someone with a defined chest and back you think wow, that person is DIESEL! Two of the best exercises you can do to improve your physique are push-ups and pull-ups.Push-ups target mostly your chest and tri-ceps, while pull-ups involve your back muscles, triceps and biceps. Furthermore most men and women can not even do 1 pull-up!!! In my opinion, everyone should be able to handle their own bodyweight.
Life is crazy and you never know when you will need to hold yourself up for some reason!!!

Push-ups can be done in two different ways, modified or traditional. If you are new to pushups or haven't built up your strength enough to do a traditional push-up, you can do them from your knees.
The keys are to try to keep your hands under your shoulders and lean forward away from your feet in the straightest line that your arms can support. The traditional push-up involves the same concept, flat back, straight line, hands under shoulders.

Pull-ups are done with your palms facing away from your face. Chin-ups are a bit easier as your palms grip the bar facing you. The change in arm position makes your biceps help in the pulling action. Even if you do have significant strength it is still a good idea to vary your hand positions because every one targets the muscles in a slightly different fashion. When doing your pull-ups or chin-ups think about using your back muscles to pull yourself up to the bar. The natural tendency is to try to use all arm strength but try to focus on engaging your back muscles.  If pull-ups and chin-ups are too hard for you, you can either do dead hangs( just hang from the bar as long as you can). You can do negatives, which involve jumping to the highest point and slowly allowing yourself to lower down. You can also try using elastic bands or a chair to "spot" you as you go up and down. Either way, just stay patient and consistent and your strength will increase with your numbers...

So here's a workout that I love to use. I call it " Going up the mountain!"

Start with 1 push-up, the do 1 pull-up. Next 2 push-ups, 2 pull-ups, 3 push-ups, 3 pull-ups ....
keep going until you get to 10 then head back down the mountain 10 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 9 push-ups, 9 pull-ups ... all the way back to 1.  This is great as a full workout or as a warm-up depending on your fitness level and skill. Once I start, the goal is to finish as fast as possible so
think 0 rest time.  I love this workout because the warm-up is built into the workout and it doesn't take a long time to get a good sweat going.


Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!
-Mark BFitness


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