Push-ups and Bench Presses
Push-ups are a very effective exercise in helping to keep your body in shape, for if done properly, push-ups use most of the muscles in your upper body, shoulders and abdomen. The slower that you do push-ups, the more effective they are, as it makes your muscles work harder for a longer period of time. If you are in good shape, you should be able to do 50 quality push-ups. If you really want a challenge, you can try to do one armed push-ups, but it takes a lot of time to work yourself up to that point.
The difference between bench pressing weights and doing push-ups is that you can add more weight to your weight bar when using a press bench and free weights. Just be sure that you have a “spotter” (someone who is there to help you if necessary) if you are using free weights.
If you want to increase the weight you are lifting when doing push-ups, you have to ask someone to sit or lie on your back. I like to use my granddaughter for this purpose, and as she grows, I’m actually getting stronger. It’s much more fun to exercise with someone else, so I’ll still use my weight bench at times if I have a spotter. Just be sure that your spotter is strong enough to be able to lift the weights off of you should you get into trouble. Don’t ask your grandmother to spot for you.
Another alternative is to either buy a weight machine or join a gym that has these machines. This allows you to lift as much weight as you want without a spotter, and it enables you to increase the amount of weight which you lift as you gain strength. A good rule of thumb is to start with a weight which you can lift 10 times (reps), and you should be able to do three sets with about a 45-second interval of rest between each set. Be sure to rest at least a day or two between doing strenuous weight lifting or until you no longer feel soreness in your muscles.
Weight bearing exercises are a very healthy form of exercise and will enable you to maintain bone mass as you age. Lifting weights or doing push-ups will build your strength, and at the same time, help to maintain bone health.
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