2009 Challenge: Do Your Age In Push Ups

“Anything in life is possible, if you make it happen.  Help the most important person on this earth: YOU.

~Jack LaLanne

Ask anyone who has taken my classes…what is my favorite exercise?  You got it, Push Ups!  And now I want to share the love.  I believe in my heart that we can all get stronger as we age, instead of giving in to the negative notion that age equals a decline in everything.  We can learn to hold ourselves up, we can hold our own weight.  If we don’t, who will?

Push ups are good for several reasons.  They certainly work the muscles of the upper body…chest, triceps, shoulders and back.  But push ups are also a great core exercise.  And doing even one with good form and alignment is an empowering thing to do.  The “I Did It” feeling.  So here’s the challenge.  Everyone from the first graders I teach in PE, all the way up to my friends in the autumn of life…we can all do our age in push ups! OK, maybe not today, but how about by the end of 2009?  Take your age, divide it by 12, and start with that many every day for the next month.  Easy huh?  OK, now add on.  Each month add on, and by next New Years Eve you will be there.  And just think…what if you did this every day for the rest of your life?  As you age, you will get stronger, more confident, have better posture and less back pain.  Not to mention the attention you will get when you’re 80 still at it!

Tips for doing push ups.  First, I don’t believe in “girl” push ups.  Women have different weight distribution than men, but we can still develop the upper body strength to do push ups.  You can do a thousand push ups on your knees and still not have the strength to do one on your toes.  So start in plank pose, or the top phase of the push up.  Hands should be wider than your shoulders so when you lower down, there will be a 90-degree bend in your elbows.  Hold your abs in, contract the muscles in your legs, and lower as much as you can, even if it’s just an inch.  There’s one.  Over time you can work at getting them lower.  Another way to “cheat” until you gain strength, is to take your feet out wide, and/or stick your hips up a little.  Again, over time you can work on your form.  The important thing is to be on your hands and toes, holding your own weight.  

Email me a photo and your “I Did It” story when you do your age in push ups!

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    1. How come I did not know about this site?? Can I post the link in my group? I love the challenge.
      Also, they are not girl push-ups, but knee push-ups! The girl ones are the ones where you have your hands together index and thumb touching… heart to heart…

    2. Love it, thanks for correcting me! Please send me a picture of you doing your version of a "girl push up" and I will post it!

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