We’re not saying the Avengers’ buff bods are the best things about the Marvel movie series, but they are pretty impressive. What’s more impressive, however, is just how quickly you can strengthen your chest and arms by doing this tried and true exercise.
Why do chest exercises? By adding this equipment-free move to your day, you’ll build upper-body muscles that are essential for posture and power, while also gaining a boost to your confidence. You’ll be swinging a giant hammer no time!
Chest exercise: the classic push-up
The fully horizontal position of the classic push-up makes for a solid workout for your chest, arms, and shoulders.
How to do a standard push-up
- Step 1: Place both hands on the floor just past shoulder width, and assume the “plank” position with your arms, legs and back straight, arms slightly bent but not locked, and your toes supporting your lower body.
- Step 2: Keeping your entire body straight, lower your chest until it lightly touches the floor.
- Step 3: Pause, exhale, and push back to the starting position. Repeat.
Too easy or too hard?
Less taxing than the “standard” push-up because of the more elevated body position, the incline push-up targets the lower chest and arms. If you want to really test your limits, decline push-ups boost the intensity and difficulty of standard push-ups and build chest, arm and shoulder strength fast.
If you want a simple guide to keep you on track with push-ups, try using this one:
Get Started Level
- Week 1) 2 sets – 5 push-ups
- Week 2) 3 sets – 7 push-ups
- Week 3) 3 sets – 10 push-ups
- Week 4) 3 sets – 12 push-ups
- Week 5) 3 sets – 15 push-ups
Go Pro Level
- Week 1) 3 sets – 10 push-ups
- Week 2) 3 sets – 10 incline push-ups
- Week 3) 3 sets – 10 decline push-ups
- Week 4) 3 sets – 15 push-ups
- Week 5) 3 sets – 15 decline push-ups
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.