Raise your hands if you love push-ups!  Ok... don't everyone jump at once. The thing is, I believe firmly that push-ups are an acquired taste. I also think they are something that some people say they love, because they think they are supposed to love them, but they really don't.  Push-ups are complicated.  Except they're not!  They are one of the few moves that no matter where you train, everyone does the same way. You don't need fancy equipment, you need your body, that's it.  

When I first started out, I couldn't do more than a couple push-ups.  I would go immediately to my knees. In fact even today, I will modify them if I'm just not feeling strong enough, and need to go to my knees.  It's nothing to be ashamed of, and does still give a great burn.  

This week, I really wanted to showcase the push-up because I think they are phenomenal for a full body, but especially core strengthening, move.  The beautiful thing is, you are using your own body weight, and you can do them in many different variations! I only show 3 here, but there are so many more.  

The first one in the video is the Spiderman Push-Up, this one is my absolute all time favorite.  I truly love it.  It's really working those oblique abdominals, which I think are so critical as we get older, and the functional movement helps us in almost everything we do in our daily lives.  

The second one is a One-Leg Push-Up. This one I do either as shown, or by bending the knee 90 degrees. It puts more weight on the one leg which works the hamstring muscle just a little more than the regular one, and also is just a bit more difficult, which adds to the cardio intensity.

Finally, the Decline Push-Up is my nemesis.  I really detest this one. It's so difficult, but yet it really must be a part of the repertoire.  It takes the regular push-up to a whole new level, almost like running on a steep incllne does to your runs.  Just find a bench, or a box, a chair, and elevate your feet as shown.  If you want to get stronger, and better at regular push-ups, you have to add these into your routine. 

So the next time you can't make it to the gym, try doing some body weight exercises - and for upper body strength, and core functionality, you'd be hard-pressed (excuse the pun!) to find anything better than a push-up!