The Benefits Of The Old-School Push-Up

Push-ups are a fantastic way to build upper-body strength, but most people do them incorrectly out of the gate. We asked Frank Daniels, owner of Max Impact Training in White Plains (914-424-5703; www.maximpacttraining.info), to break down a Standard Push-Up into its three key movements. 

Then we asked him to do a couple more (look at him—he can handle it). The Modified Push-Up is ideal for people who are just starting to work out or have an injury. The Elevated Push-Up is slightly more advanced, great for those looking to amp up their routine. 

Remember, for all these push-ups, your body should lift and lower as one unit, like a board (squeezing your glutes—yes, your butt—will help with this). Your shoulders should stay down and back, and your head and neck remain in a neutral position.

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Standard Push-Up

Begin on the ground with your hands a couple inches out from your chest, and elbows at a 45-degree angle from your body.

Slowly raise yourself until your arms are fully extended, keeping your neck, back, and glutes aligned. Squeeze your glutes to assist with alignment.

Slowly lower yourself back to your original position.

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Modified Push-Up

Using a step or other raised, secure surface, begin with your hands a couple inches out from your chest, your elbows at a 45-degree angle from your body, and your chest resting just over the edge of the step.

Slowly push yourself up until your arms are fully extended, keeping head, neck, back, and glutes aligned.

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Slowly lower yourself to your starting position.


Elevated Push-Up

Begin on the ground with your elbows at a 45-degree angle from your body. Grasp dumbbells, keeping your wrists and the weights parallel to your body.

Slowly raise yourself until your arms are fully extended, keeping your head, neck, back, and glutes aligned.

Slowly lower yourself to your starting position.

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