April Push Up Challenge

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Strict Push Ups
April’s challenge is to do a number of strict push ups that is 4 times the date (4 strict push ups on April 1st, 8 strict push ups on April 2nd, 12 on the 3rd, etc.)

Before doing your push ups, check your positioning by doing the following:
Stand with your back to a wall, heels may be touching the wall or an inch away.  Keeping your knees straight, squeeze your glutes and your abs so that your lower back flattens against the wall.  Pull your head and shoulders back and tuck your chin, so that the back of your head and your shoulder blades press into the wall with the back of your neck getting as close to the wall as you can get it.  This is your plank position!  Now keep that position and turn to face the wall, toes touching the wall or an inch away.  Lean into the wall.  Notice that with the knees straight and the glutes and abs squeezed, the knees and hips do not make contact with the wall.  With the head pulled back, the nose should not hit the wall either.  Whatever part of you is touching the wall should be your point of contact at the bottom of the push up, and whatever is not touching the wall should also not touch the ground at the bottom of the push up.

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A tight plank position should be held the entire time with the feet together.  Hands can be positioned in a range of widths as long as the elbows can be kept swept back at least 45 degrees when the forearms are stacked over the wrists.  Do not allow the elbows to flair out wide or the shoulders to shrug up toward the ears.  Glutes and abs should be tightly engaged: lumbar should be flat, no break at the hips.  Also, the chin should be tucked with the head pulled back (no turtles!).

If a tight position can not be held, modify the movement by putting your hands on a step, box, bench, chair, table, or countertop. Modify sufficiently so that you can keep a tight plank position.  Your upper abs should contact the object you are putting your hands on at the bottom of the push up.

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