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If you haven't done a full push-up, don't worry. Maybe you're just doing the exercise routine wrong. Experts say many people start with an improved push-up from the knees, but that's unlikely to help you build the strength you need. 'Push-ups on your knees only work half your body,' says Greg Cook, a personal trainer and group coach at Equinox in New York and co-founder of Deep Health Evolution, a wellness company. "A standard push-up requires more muscle; Your hips and quadriceps get involved."
So how do you go from "not doing one thing" to "only doing 10 things"? Break down push-ups into smaller, easier moves. "A big part of success is teaching the nervous system how to do push-ups," Cook says. "It's about getting into the groove and getting the motion mode down." 'You can think of it like walking in a forest,' he added. "The first time you do this, there are no roads. The second time, kind of. The more you do it, the more ingrained it becomes."
Are you ready to master this GYM class classic?
Step 1: Practice the first half
'Start in a high, flat brace position and work your way down to the floor,' Mr. Cook said. The fall or centrifugal phase of the push up will stimulate your muscle cells. Because centrifugal contractions generate more force than concentric contractions, practicing the centrifugal phase of push-ups helps your muscles become stronger and more powerful. "You actually stimulate the muscle cells more in the descent phase," Cook said. Then wake up the way you need to. "Two popular options: get your knees down and push up, or be like a kid and do a plank. It's easier when you're standing on the floor. You don't just plop down the last few inches -- move on to step two.
Step 2: Add a mini push-up
Again, start in a high flat support position, but this time, as you put yourself on the floor, try to stop about three-quarters of the way down. About three-quarters of the way through, pause and push up a bit. It doesn't matter if you start with an inch or so. Then, continue the rest of the way to the floor. Step 3: Do a mini push - up that doesn't hurt your hips. 'The key is to lock the hips and squeeze them so that your breasts are leading your way,' says Cook.
Step 3: Practice to perfection.
If your posture is still good, increase the number and depth of mini push-ups. After a few weeks, don't worry if you can't do a full push-up. See how many more negative attempts you can make, or how many times you can approach the ground without giving in. "The pace of push ups varies from person to person," Cook says. "It could be two weeks for one person, six to 12 weeks for another. When you do a full push-up for the first time, celebrate, and then do two more."
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