PUSH-AWAY: A Simple, Effective, Strength-Building Exercise for All Ages
PUSH-AWAY: The Strengthing Exercise That Works for Everyone
On the program This Week in America, with host Ric Bratton, we discuss the topic... The Magic of Exercise: Tips for Staying Motivated to Workout. These are tips I've used with clients, friends and family worldwide for decades and they really work. You will be so motivated to exercise that you'll probably start a workout before the show is over. To listen to the interview now, click HERE.
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For decades I have been doing Push-Aways, a word I coined in the 1970s when I was the first fitness trainer in Los Angeles. I do them anywhere and everywhere I can. They are so simple and effective. Actually, they are simply a modified push-up, which is usually done on the ground. But much of the time, we don't want to get down on the ground to do a push-up when we are outdoors. So a push-away is perfect and lots of fun! Within a few days, you will see your strength improve and you'll be able to graduate to doing more reps on a lower railing, too.
During my hikes and outdoor power walks or jogs, I'm always looking for railings, walls, benches, fences, banisters, tree stumps, and anything on which to support my body weight. I even do them in my kitchen on the edge of island and peninsula, my office desk, and even on my bathroom vanity.
Notice this photo of my client Peter above near his home in Malibu. He is using the railing of the walkway to do his push-aways. Vary your arm position. Peter is doing this set with his hands placed under his shoulders. This gets the chest, front of the shoulders, and arms. If you keep your elbows close to your sides, you will also get your triceps (the underneath part of your upper arms). Then after a few seconds rest, do another set with your hands a bit wider than your shoulders, which is great for strengthening all of you chest muscles.
If you are a true beginner, who does no exercise, you can start these push-aways using a wall. As you get stronger, do the wall push-away with one arm, as Carla is doing in the photo.
As your strength builds, look for railings that are lower. Where Peter is standing is a perfect place to start if you are not a true beginner. Keep your feet a few inches apart for stability, your head in alignment with your body, and your body straight without sticking your buttocks outward. Peter's form is perfect in this photo — he is as flat as a board from head to heels. Notice Angela in the photo above using the tree stump. She is lower than Peter's position, which makes it a more advanced push-away. Her elbows are closer to her body, getting her better results for her triceps. And Danielle below is showing perfect form with her hands farther apart than her shoulders, which pinpoints the chest area more.
When I hike or power walk/jog, I find as many places as possible to stop and do a set or two of push-aways and then quickly continue with my hike/jog so I keep it an aerobic workout. Usually, I do 24 reps (start with 12 if you are a beginner and have never done these before) with full push-aways where my elbows go to a right angle. Then I finish off with 12 short pulses, where I stay at a right angle position with my elbows on rep #24 and then do a set of 12 more in a 3- to 4-inch-pulse (short and quick presses). Believe me, you will feel it and you will see positive results (building strength, tone, muscle) within days of doing these push-away sessions 3-6 times weekly.