I hope you’re now into the swing of regularly doing the lunges that I described in my previous post. As I said in Part 1, this programme is going to be a quick and simple way to get a full-body workout, which will burn the unwanted fat and tone up your legs, arms and core. This simple, but effective programme should be tried by anyone who is trying to lose that post pregnancy weight and is ready to start exercising again.
This exercise is one of the simplest as it requires no equipment and it is so effective. It is possibly one of the most under-rated and under-utilised exercises that exists. That’s why I love it so much! The press-up really is a great exercise for toning up your upper body, arms and core. Another great facet is that you can vary it and adapt it in so many different ways to make is easier or more difficult, or to work the muscles in different ways.
The press-up predominantly works the chest muscles (pectorals) and triceps, but additionally the shoulders (deltoids) and all the core muscles. The core is required to work hard to keep the body held in a flat ‘plank’ position throughout the exercise.
Exercise #2 – The Press-up
Lie flat on your belly and place your hands flat on the floor, by your side, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keeping your body perfectly flat, push against the ground with your hands and straighten your elbows. Keep your head in a neutral position to reduce any strain on your neck. Lower yourself back down to the ground, but do not rest. Repeat the first movement of lifting yourself up. It is the arms that do the work of moving your body weight. Don’t be tempted to use your butt, stomach or the lower half of your body to heave yourself up.
If this movement is too difficult to start with, try an adapted press-up on your knees. For this exercise, place your knees on the floor and position your body weight forwards and over your arms. In this way, your knees take some of the weight, however there is still enough weight over your arms to make it challenging. Extend your arms and lower yourself back down in the same manner as a full press-up.
Start with 2 sets of 10 repetitions with your knees on the ground. Once this gets easy, move to 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions of full press-ups. As with the lunges, you should start by doing this 2 times per week and aim to hit a rhythm of maintaining this on a regular basis 2-3 times per week. You will notice it gets easier the 2nd or 3rd time but you’ll see drastic improvements after 6 weeks!
Enjoy it, and let me know how you get on by leaving a comment!