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The Perfect Push Up

Lookie what I got!!!

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SO excited!! For those of you who may not know, the Healthy Living Summit is a conference for “healthy living” bloggers and readers. For two days, I’ll be joining 200 like-minded folk to listen to presentations and talk about all things food and fitness related. Tickets sold out quickly last night and I’m elated to be able to take part this year!!

I was up later than I should have been last night, then up way earlier than I should be this morning.

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My nose and head were all stuffed up while my belly was completely empty. Breakfast needed to be quick and comforting. It was a no-brainer.

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And then I ate a cookie.

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I dunno, for some reason, an oatmeal-chocolate chip-coconut-maple-raisin cookie seems to make the cut as an acceptable breakfast cookie.

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I am majorly impressed by these Super-Charge Me Cookies. I took these photos this morning and there are only two left. The 6 people in this house have successfully demolished them in one day.

After breakfast and breakfast dessert, I immediately preceded to go back to bed. I woke up an hour later feeling much better, although my mom still looked at me and said “Susie, you’re looking a little rough this morning.” Harumph.

A giant mug of strong brewed coffee helped out my situation a lot though.

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As well as snacking on multiple Mr. Freezes and a giant medjool date stuffed with almond butter.

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These pictures don’t do it justice. I honestly don’t think I will spend the money on medjool dates again because they are just too much for me. One of these bad boys has 16g of sugar crammed into two bites. I think I will stick to my baby dates :)

Lunch was nothing special, a ginormous salad with tuna, hummus, feta and pickled onions.

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I seem to be cleaning out my mom’s vegetable crisper every two days. Her boyfriend, Mark, makes a salad every day for lunch. Between the two of us, no fresh veggies stand a chance in this house.

Clearly, today was a rest day from exercise. Sometimes I get really lazy on rest days and do nothing but lay around. Other days I get antsy and feel like I need to be productive. I did get a few things done today – my main project being grooming the poodle.

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No fancy poodle cuts here. Archie is incredibly well-behaved, so we just cut him ourselves with a pair of scissors. He politely stood still while I hacked away at his fur.

I thought he might hate me after, but he still jumped up and helped me read blogs ;)

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And then I plotted how I could get away with smuggling him to Toronto with me ;)

Dinner featured one of my favourite foods from my vegetarian days – falafel!

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I do believe these are Veggie Patch Falafels that my mom bought at Costco.

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I ate them on top of a bunch of frozen veggies tossed in garam masala spice. I think I overdid it on the veg. My tummy was ready to bust with brussels sprouts after. I had to roll back to the living room. My family keeps teasing me for the size of my veggie bowls  – and in this case they may have been right :P

 

The Perfect Push-Up

I got an e-mail from Hallie the other day about proper push-up technique. For being one of the best exercise moves out there, it’s damn tricky!

 
Having good form is imperative to doing the exercise properly. I know I always nag about having good form, but it’s how you ensure you hit the intended muscles. Bad form means no results. Or worse, pain and injury. This is me pointing my finger at you and giving a stern face.

So what is good push-up form?

  • Your body should make an imaginary straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Make sure your butt isn’t up in the air by tucking your pelvis in and shifting some extra weight back into your toes.
  • Hands are under your shoulders. They should not be up by your face when you come down.
  • Keep you chin tucked in and don’t strain your neck. Remember that straight line!
  • For a regular push up, space your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your elbows around 45 degrees. The main movers here are your pecs. Sticking your hands and elbows out too far to the side will hit your back too much, and tucking them in will engage your triceps more (unless that’s what you want to do)
  • Bring your chest far enough down so that it almost grazes the ground.
  • Practice doing them in a mirror, so you know what that straight line feels like!

The above picture is a tricep push up. You’ll notice her narrow hand grip and how her elbows are tucked in.

Now I know many people (not just women!!!) can’t do the standard push up on their toes. Many of you know the traditional knee push up.

However, I would suggest putting your feet on the floor to support your back and posture more.

Personally, I’m more of a fan of progression into toe push ups by starting on an incline. If you’re a beginner, the wall is a great place to start.

   
As you get stronger, decrease the incline. I often still do toe push ups off a bench.

When the bench gets too easy, grab a step to push off of.

 
And before you know it you’ll be cranking out 20 on the floor! ;)

I know some of you are way past the stage of incline push-ups, and there are tons of ways to make them harder. My two favourite ways are putting your feet up on a bench or a stability ball.

And the T push up!

The above pictures are all hyperlinked to their original sources if you want to check them out as well :)

 

Question of the Day: Push ups – love? Hate? Favourite way to do them? I only just got to the point where I can squeeze out a few on the floor off my toes. I’ve always struggled at supporting my bodyweight with my upper-body, and push ups are torturous for me!!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for what may be the cutest/funniest/most embarrassing Flashback Friday ever. I’ve been holding on to these photos since my mom pulled them out last Sunday, at which point we both starting crying with laughter :P

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