Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘push up on knees’

Push up

Posted by terrepruitt on June 21, 2011

Would you believe me if I told we do push ups in Nia?  Ha!  We do a lot of exercises in Nia, but we do them to music.  We are dancing and flowing from one move to the next.  We allow for the individual to do them their own way.  People might not even realize they are doing a push up, just like the sit ups they are disguised.  It is not a disguise of deception, not at all.  It is that we are in the moment and it is truly a dance so one just doesn’t realize it is a push up.  Sometimes it is a military push up, but sometimes not.  Sometimes it is from the knees, or sitting down or even standing and using a wall.  But there is pushing involved and the upper body is utilized.

For this Ten Minute Workout we are using the BOSU.  The round side is on the ground.  So we are using the flat side to hold onto.  Push ups have never been my favorite exercise to do because I have never been really good at the military ones.  But I could do them, but now I am sticking to the on-the-knees version to stay off my toe.  You do with your legs what is comfortable.  Even though my execution of a push up can be improved upon I love the push up because it is a multi muscle working exercise.

In this workout we have just gone from sit up (on the ground), to overhead triceps extensions (on our knees), and now we are doing the push ups.  I think having done the triceps extensions on the ground is one way to help you make it through the 10 exercises in the 10 minutes.

With the round side of the BOSU on the ground, I grip the edges of it.  Mine has “handles” and I use them.  I stay on my knees and use my arms to push me up and allow me to come down.  Even on your knees there are different ways to do it.  You can keep your legs down, using your shins and the top of your feet for additional stability or your can lift your shins and feet off the ground.  Remember no matter how you choose to do the exercise you are not stuck doing it that way for the entire 10 or the second pass through.  So experiment.  Listen to your body and decide what works best for you at that moment.  Remember your goals and adjust your movements to help you to achieve them.

Only go as low to the BOSU as you can and still be able to push back up.  Using the BOSU requires you to use equal strength in each arm because you have to work to keep the BOSU level.

One of the key things to do to get the most out of a push up is to keep the body straight and move the entire body down and entire body up.  Even if you just go down a little, the straight body is working arms and core.  If you just let your upper body down and push it up you are missing out on the exciting portion of a push up.  It works soooo many more muscles if you engage your torso and have it move with your arms.

You see what I am saying?  (As I am typing this I imagined you getting on the floor and trying it.  I am sure you sense the difference.  Even if you don’t go down that far.)

As I share with my students in Nia class all the time, there are technical ways to do an exercise or a movement, but not everyone can do it that way — the body’s way.  It could be a matter of needing to learn it or work up to that or it could be that our body is not physically able to do it.  Whatever the reason, I believe it is important to know how to do it properly and then be aware of how we are doing it.  Then we can listen to our body.  When we try to do it the technical way our body might say, “Oh yeah, that is just not going to happen.”  Then we can adjust.  We can learn, is it not going to happen because it is painful or is it because I need to work a little bit to get to that level?  Then we can make a decision and a conscious choice.

Know how to do a push up, then decide how you are going to do it.  Don’t just let the pattern of your movement dictate how you execute an exercise, decide for yourself make a choice then do it.  As I said before, it could be that you do five with your whole torso then need to give your arms a break . . . . but that doesn’t mean you have to stop, just do the push up with your arms and not bring the whole body down and up.  Or you do three on your toes then decide that you really want to have a straight back so you switch to your knees.  Then on your next set you do all knees.  Whatever you decide, make sure it is something you are aware of and then do your push ups your way.

What do you have to add?  Share?  Comment?  Question?

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