How to Do a Perfect Push-Up

How to do a perfect pushup.
Push-ups. I bet you love them or love to hate them. Either way, this weight-bearing exercise is fantastic at sculpting your shoulders and arms, making your back look just incredible, and building up your pecs (or for us ladies, giving us a little lift).

But, they’re not easy! And, after a few sets, perhaps you’ve wondered: Can I do these on my knees instead? And, if I need to do them on my knees, should I bother doing them at all?

Articles published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research revealed that men lifted about 66.4% of their body weight with each rep when they did a push-up on their toes. On their knees, they lifted about 52.9% of their body weight. For example, a 180-pound man will lift 119.5 pounds per rep doing a regular push-up and 95.2 pounds doing a push-up on his knees. Women lift just slightly less of their body weight per rep. So, yes, if you can’t do a push-up on your toes yet, don’t give up! You’re still getting a great workout.

If you really want to get a sense of how much you’re lifting, put your scale on level ground, place your hands on it, and do a push-up on your toes. Have a friend read the number on the scale if you cannot. Then, repeat the exercise, but this time, do the push-up on your knees.

How to do the perfect push-up:
Whether you’re on your toes or on your knees, it’s important to have the proper form. To do a perfect push-up:
1. Get into plank position and make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders but just wider than them. Tighten your core.
2. Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor, tucking your elbows in as you do. When you’re at the bottom, your arms should be at 45-degree angle. Keep your back flat and do not let your back or hips sag.

Here’s a GIF showing how to do a regular push-up

How to do a push-up correctly

And, here’s how to do a perfect modified push up. As you go down to the ground, make sure to keep your core tight and your butt tucked in. It may help to watch yourself in the mirror (or in the reflection of your TV!) a few times to get your posture right.

How to do a modified push-up correctly

For the few of you who want to make your push-up harder and lift more of your body weight, here are some tips. We’ve ranked them from easiest to hardest.
1. Slow it down. By taking more time to do each repetition, you increase the time that each muscle must stay contracted.
2. Bring your hands and feet closer together to move your center of gravity forward and make your shoulders, pecs, back, and triceps do more work. Tighten your core to protect your lower back.
3. Change the angle. Place your feet on a stable surface–such as a plyo box or weight bench–and keep your hands on the ground. This puts more of your weight onto your shoulders.
4. Move away from a stable surface and do your push-ups on a medicine ball or balance ball as demonstrated in P90X2. These exercises will not only challenge those muscle groups but also force you to tighten your core to stay balanced.
5. Forget push-ups. Do handstands instead.

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This post originally appeared in our Team Beachbody blog. Here’s the link to the original post

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

depression

If you feel like you’re living under a grey cloud, you’re not alone. 1 in 4 Americans suffers from mental illness, and the majority of those are classified as anxiety and mood disorders.

Unfortunately, we tend to treat mental illness as something someone can just “snap out of” instead of treating it as we would diabetes or heart disease. So, if any of the signs and symptoms below look familiar, please call a professional and get started on the road to recovery.

If you’re not suffering from depression, but know someone who is, here is a great article from Psych Central that walks you through 9 ways you can help someone who is going through it.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression (from the Mayo Clinic)
• Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
• Irritability or frustration
• Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
• Reduced sex drive or erectile dysfunction
• Insomnia or excessive sleeping
• Changes in appetite (either decreased appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain)
• Agitation or restlessness
• Substance
• Angry outbursts
• Persistent feelings of stress or anxiety
• Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
• Indecisiveness, distractibility, and decreased ability to concentrate
• Fatigue and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
• Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
• Frequent thoughts of death, dying, or suicide
• Crying spells for no apparent reason
• Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

** Even if you don’t have one of these symptoms but feel you may be depressed, don’t hesitate to contact a professional.**

This post originally appeared in our Team Beachbody blog. Here’s the link to the original post.

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Why You Should Create a Personal Mission Statement

Why-You-Should-Create-a-Personal-Mission-Statement_funwqt

The month of September is here again! The weather is starting to change, kids are heading back to school, and it’s time to start hibernating for the winter. Wait, no it’s not! Instead of putting your diet and fitness routine on hold, use September (also known as National Self Improvement Month) to set good habits for the colder months. Each Wednesday this month, we’ll share a new tip with you to try that week.

Share your own tips with us using the #NationalSelfImprovementMonth and we might pick yours to feature on the Blog on the first Wednesday in October!

TIP #1: Create a personal mission statement
In Alice in Wonderland, the caterpillar pointedly asked Alice, “Who are you?” Her response? “’I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

Undoubtedly, like Alice, how you see yourself has changed numerous times over the years. Take a moment to think about this and think about how you define yourself so you can create your own personal mission statement. Personal mission statement were first popularized by Stephen R. Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. He defined them as “defining the personal, moral and ethical guidelines within which you can most happily express and fulfill yourself,” By creating one — by having a why if you will — itcan help guide you when you feel lost and help you make the right choices.

Here are some questions to consider when developing your mission statement:
• What am I passionate about?
• What gives me energy?
• How do you define success?
• How do you want to be remembered?
• What gives you the most happiness?

Here are some examples to get you started:
• “I aspire to be a healthy, physically active person so my increased energy levels can help me reach my goals.”
• “Help people achieve their goals and live a healthy, fulfilling life.” (Beachbody)
• “To live life with a compassionate, open heart and let love, not fear, dictate my actions.”
• “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” (Oprah Winfrey)
• “To have fun in (my) journey through life and learn from (my) mistakes.” (Richard Branson)
• “I will strive to live mindfully in all things I do.”

Your turn! Tell us in the comments or use the #NationalSelfImprovementMonth to share yours.

This post originally appeared in our Team Beachbody blog. Here’s the link to the original post.

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