Women, Do More Push-Ups!

Photo Credit: Local Fitness 

Women tend to shy away from strength training exercises because they don’t want bulky muscles. Women and men build muscle mass differently. Most women won’t develop bulging muscles from strength exercises. Push-ups work your whole body, especially your arms, chest and abs. Your legs and butt will develop lean, strong muscle too. Increasing the size of your pectoral muscles, located behind your breasts, can also give the appearance of a fuller breast. Women benefit from upper body and core strengthening exercises by increasing strength and greater endurance. You don’t need any equipment to do push-ups. Just do them!
Before you do any exercise, it’s important to warm up. Warming up your muscles before exercise helps to increase circulation and reduces the risk of injury. Increased circulation also loosens up stiff joints so exercise is easier. Do light to moderate exercise for 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and joints before exercise. Brisk walking, jumping jacks, jump rope or even marching in place are good ways to warm up. Stretch your muscles for 5 minutes after your warm-up before you start doing push-ups. 
Push-ups not only work your upper body, but also strengthen your core. A strong core helps improve your overall strength and endurance. Your balance will improve when your core muscles are stronger. The core muscles help to stabilize your spine and hips for better posture too. Squeeze your abs when doing push-ups to maximize the core-strengthening workout. 
Beginners may want to try wall push-ups or bent-knee push-ups. These push-ups are easier but still effective. Once your strength increases, switch to the regular push-up with your legs outstretched so that your body weight is supported by your hands and toes. Keep your body rigid and your abs tight when doing push-ups. Lower your upper body toward the floor, but don’t let your spine sag toward the floor. Push your body back upright. You’ve just done a push-up! Now, how many can you do? Start out slowly and try to do 4 or 5 push-ups. Gradually increase the number of push-ups you can do until you can do 20 push-ups before you give out. 

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