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PECTORAL
Modified Push-up

1. Position yourself face down with your knees on the floor.

2. Extend your arms to the floor and press your palms down to hold your torso up and keep your body in a straight line from knees to shoulders. Your hands should be placed slightly farther apart than your shoulders.

3. Pull your stomach muscles in gently to protect your lower back.

4. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the floor until your upper arm is parallel to the floor.

5. Exhale as you slowly push back up to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 10 times. This is one set.

TIPS

Ignore people who snidely refer to these as "girl push-ups." Push-ups are challenging and you'll want to build muscle strength and confidence before you move on to full push-ups (legs extended, weight on toes instead of knees).

Keep your stomach muscles pulled in gently and your back flat to avoid muscle strain. It's easy to let your butt pop up or to arch your back when you are working hard to do a push-up.

Don't hold your breath. Inhale through your nose when you lower your body and exhale through your mouth when you push up. This helps deliver oxygen to your muscles. It also helps you get into a rhythm, so that you're not working too fast or too slow.

 

 

PECTORAL
Dumbbell Chest Press

1. Lie on a sturdy bench or aerobic step with your feet flat on the floor.

2. Hold a light weight (1 pound is probably plenty) in each hand. Keep your palms facing forward with your arms extended but not locked so the weights are above your shoulders. (Your arms should be perpendicular to your body and the floor).

3. Bend your elbows and inhale as you slowly lower the weights until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause and take a breath.

4. Exhale as you slowly press the weights up to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 10 times (one set).

TIPS

Gently pull in your abs to keep your back from arching off the bench.

If it feels awkward to have your feet on the floor, try putting both of your feet flat on the bench, with knees bent.

 

 

PECTORAL
Butterfly Chest Stretch

1. Stand tall with your feet about shoulder width apart, abs pulled in, knees slightly bent.

2. Lace your fingers behind your head and place your hands where your head meets your neck. Your elbows are pointing to the sides.

3. Press your elbows forward until they almost touch in front of your face.

4. Squeeze shoulder blades together to bring your elbows back out to sides, and breathe in as you lift your chest. Pause, then repeat.

 

 

 

Related Links: biceps | butt/quads | calf | hamstrings | lower back | pecs | shoulders | thighs | triceps | upper back

 

 

Last Modified Date: 3/27/2001