Fitness Tips with Kerry

April Fitness Tip’s with Kerry Engle, Shaker Pointe’s Fitness Director

Wall Push-ups

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Wall push-ups are perfect for a beginner, but all levels benefit from this exercise.  Although traditional push-ups work the chest, arms, and shoulders, wall push-ups are an excellent alternative for beginners who want to build strength to get to a more advanced level.  They are a good choice if you want to strengthen the chest but have back problems, because they put no stress on your spine.

To do wall push-ups, follow these steps:

Step 1:   Stand in front of a bare wall and lift your arms up to shoulder level.  Place your palms against the wall so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders.  Your fingertips should be pointing up.  Back your feet a couple of feet away from the wall so that your elbows are bent as you lean on an angle into the wall.  Don’t arch your back so as not to put too much pressure on the lower spine.

Step 2:  Bend your elbows with your head leading the way.  You want to stop before your head his the wall.  Push off the wall by outstretching your arms.  The heels of your feet may want to pop off the ground, this is okay it if happens.

Repeat the move five to ten times.  Gradually work up to 20 or more wall push-ups for increased chest strength.  When you are able to complete the exercise with ease, increase the repetitions.

As you advance, incorporate some of the following techniques:

Pause:  As you return to the start from the extended arm position, stop and pause halfway.  Hold for a few seconds and continue to move slightly forward.  Stop and pause again for a few seconds and then one more time before returning to start.

Use a slow pace:  This is another advanced variation.  Try doing the wall push-up at a very slow pace.  Count very slowly up to four as you push off the wall and count slowly to four as you return to start.  This increases the tension in the chest and arms.

Things to note

  • Be sure to exhale, blowing air out during the pushing part of the exercise.
  • Don’t lock your elbows during chest exercises.  Doing these exercises with straight arms can put unnecessary stress on your elbow joint.

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