I've been doing push-ups before hopping into bed for a few months now, and I find it both tones my arms and gets me tuckered and ready to snooze. Push-ups are my all-time favorite upper-body exercise because they are so darn effective. It doesn't take many reps before you feel them, and boy will you feel it in your triceps, shoulders, upper back, and core. Here are some tips to keep in mind when doing this exercise.
- Check your alignment. Shoulders should be over your wrists and your body in one straight line. If it's too difficult to keep your spine straight doing classic push-ups, lower your knees to the floor — knee push-ups still work your arms.
- Check your hands. Spread your palms and activate fingertips to protect your wrists. Turn your fingertips slightly inward to help target your triceps. Or widen your hands slightly to target your pecs.
- Check your abs. Pull your navel in toward your spine to engage your core. It not only tones your abs, but will prevent lower back pain.
- Connect your breath with your movements to make it easier. Inhale as you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso down, and exhale as you straighten your arms and lift your torso back to the starting position.
- Push-up variations beat boredom and target your body in different ways. Give these variations a try: