By Natasha Vani, MSc., ATCP
Feeling guilty because you didnít make it to the gym for your regular workout? Try this simple upper body routine that requires absolutely no equipment, little space and is just as effective as hitting the gym. All you needÖa favorite room in the house that either has a rug, a carpet or a mat for comfort.
Exercise # 1
Yes, the good old pushupóeasy for some, hard for others and hated by many. This exercise is one of the most efficient upper body exercises out there. The problem is most of us find pushups difficult to perform. To overcome this, all you need is the right variation. The pushup comes in many forms and I guarantee an option exists for everyone; you want to choose a variation that allows you to perform roughly 20 challenging repetitions. Listed in order from least to most difficult, consider the following options.
The wall pushup: Stand facing a wall with hands shoulder width apart and your arms parallel to the floor. Your feet should be together, roughly two feet away from the wall. Similar to a regular pushup, simply bend at the elbows and bring your chest toward the wall instead of the floor. For a greater challenge, move your feet slightly farther away from the wall or perform the exercise one arm at a time.
Modified pushup: This pushup is performed in the traditional method, except your knees act as the pivot point instead of your toes. Place your hands shoulder width apart and bend your arms at the elbow as you lower your chest to the floor. Tip: tighten those abs, donít let your stomach sag and keep your buttocks from pointing up in the air.
Traditional pushup: This variation is similar to the modified pushup above, but uses your feet as the pivot point. Donít forget to exhale as you push upward and inhale as you lower your body. If this pushup is too easy, try to clap your hands between repetitions, try a one-handed pushup or place your feet on a chair so your body is in a decline position. For a real challenge, try performing the pushup on your fingertips or on closed fists.