Welcome to Day 14 of Sleekgeek’s free 30-Day You Healthy Habits Challenge!
Each day for the next 30 days you will receive 1 task to complete in order to help you eat, move, think, or sleep better.
Today’s task is to do 50 push-ups:
How are those legs feeling? Have you recovered from day 6’s task of 50 squats? We hope so because here comes another tough one!
You can break these 50 push-ups up throughout the day or you can try do them all at once – it’s up to you.
Like the squat, the push-up is a really vital movement in strengthening upper-body muscles such as those in your chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominals and several other smaller supporting muscles. It also plays a key role in developing core strength and for strengthening the bones, ligaments, and insertions of the tendons throughout the upper body.
It’s a truly functional movement that makes real-life activities easier and also improves your efficiency, mobility, and balance when moving around in general.
If you need a bit of guidance on the push-up:
- Get into a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders. Ground your toes into the floor to stabilize your lower half. Brace your core (tighten your abs as if preparing to take a punch), engage glutes and hamstrings, and flatten your back so your entire body is neutral and straight.
- Lower your body. Begin to lower your body—keeping your back flat and eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck—until your chest grazes the floor. Don’t let your butt dip or stick out at any point during the move; your body should remain in a straight line from head to toe. Draw shoulder blades back and down, keeping elbows tucked close to your body (don’t “T” your arms).
- Push back up. Keeping your core engaged, exhale as you push back to the starting position. Pro tip: Imagine you are screwing your hands into the ground as you push back up. That’s one! Repeat for 10 to 20 reps or as many as can be performed with good form.
If you struggle doing a regular push-up you can try:
- Off the wall push-ups. This is the easiest push-up variation where you perform a standing push-up against a wall. Simply stand straight up with your arms straight out in front of you, hands touching the wall. Then bend at the elbows as you lean in towards the wall before pushing back up straight again. You can slowly move further and further away from the wall to increase the angle at which you need to lean and make the exercise harder.
- Off the table push-up. If the wall push-up is too easy, do the same thing except this time you lean against a sturdy table which is much lower and closer to being horizontal than the wall.
- On your knees push-up. This is performed almost identically to the regular push-up except you will have your knees rested on the ground. It is very important to engage your core and squeeze your buttocks to maintain a straight back.
Mark Sisson has a great push-up technique and progression video for absolute beginners.
If you find regular push-ups are too easy you can try:
- Bench press. If you have access to a gym with dumbbells and barbells you can do a regular bench press.
- Single-leg push-up. Raise one leg off the ground while you perform a regular push-up. Alternate which legs are raised every 5-10 reps.
- Slow negative push-up. Perform a regular push-up but take 3-5 seconds lowering yourself down towards the ground each time before exploding upwards.
- Decline push-up. Place your feet up on a box, your bed, a chair, a low table, and so on to perform a decline push-up.
- Clapping push-up. Perform a regular push-up but explode of the ground as fast as possible, doing a quick clap while in the air before landing back on the ground and lowering yourself down again.
- One-arm push-up. Perform a regular push-up but with 1 arm tucked behind your back. It helps to widen your feet stance quite a bit here and you can also progress towards a one-arm push-up by placing one hand on the ground and one hand on a low box or the bottom step at the bottom of some stairs. Try keep as much weight off the elevated hand as possible.
See you tomorrow for your Day 15’s task.
If you have just stumbled on this page sign up for Sleekgeek’s full 30-Day Healthy Habits Challenge right here. It is 100% free.
Want more of this kind of thing?
- Read our blog post on 8 Steps to Un-Process your Fitness and Get Moving Today.
- Join our 30-Day Step Challenge (lots of walking).
- Join our 30-Day Move More Challenge (some walking, lots of bodyweight exercises).