Push-ups are a fundamental exercise that work the entire body. For functional purposes, the push-up is a movement where a person has to force the momentum of their body by “pressing” or pushing against the ground or any platform for assistance. Doing push-ups daily will also your strengthen cardiovascular system. This is very important! As of 2015 the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is cardiovascular disease. Since the body is working so many muscles at once while doing a push up, it causes the heart to work harder to deliver oxygenated blood to muscle tissue. This results in an overall improved cardiovascular function.
Push-ups target the chest, biceps, triceps, deltoids, and core. The reason why I consider push-ups a fundamental exercise is because it is a basic movement that can be modified for anybody. The goal for anyone doing a push-up is ultimately to be able to support their own body weight while shifting it’s momentum. This exercise is also the best introduction to weight lifting. A person should be able to support the movement of their own body weight before moving any additional weight.
To properly do a basic push-up you first want to make sure your hands are placed right outside your chest. Your back should be flat at all times. When you go down your chest should touch the ground and elbow joints should be bent at 90º degrees. In a regular push-up position the legs are fully extended. This can be modified by doing the push-ups on your knees, which will take some pressure off of the upper body. Push-ups can also be modified to relieve the stress level on the upper body by doing the movement at an inclined angle. So try doing them against a wall or a bench for more assistance. There are no excuses so get it done! Set weekly goals and challenges to improve your push-up ability. With consistency you are guaranteed to see improvement in your strength!
Jumping rope is great cardio for warming up the body, and burning calories. I recommend jumping rope for about 10 minutes before getting into your work out. This has been a traditional practice for boxers and fighters for over 100 years. I conducted a survey from a mixed group of athletes and non-athletes that showed more people preferred jumping rope over sprinting or distance running. Beginning level jumpers need constant practice and repetition in order to make a transition into a intermediate and advance jumper. I would also encourage advanced jumper’s to step it up a notch and try using a Training Mask to help develop more endurance.
Here are five main benefits to using a jump rope:
- Affordability– Jump ropes are very affordable (much cheaper than treadmills lol). They cost somewhere around $10 and they can be found at most sports department stores.
- Portability– Jump ropes can be easily transported and don’t take up much space to store or use.
- Improved Coordination– Jumping rope is a exercise that develops coordination because it requires a rhythmic flow of movement.
- Strength Gains– Jumping rope builds strength in the lungs and lower body. This also increases bone density which results in stronger bones.
- Fat Loss– Jumping rope is great cardio for losing weight because it is a exercise that requires movement from nearly every muscle in the body.
As I mentioned above there are three levels of jump roping: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. I have put together a list of reference points and requirements to meet for each level of jumping rope.
- Beginner: Able to develop a rhythmic jump that flows at least 30 second without reset. Jumping in intervals of 2 minutes for a duration of 10 minutes.
- Intermediate: Skills require being able to cross the rope and breaking rhythm (switch feet, pace, etc.)
- Advanced: To be at the top of your jump rope game you should be able to move around and cross feet while jumping. Advanced people can also do double under jumps, which is when you spin the rope twice in one jump.