Exercise: Push-up


The pushup is a classic exercise that can be performed almost anywhere and in many different ways.  The pushup is great for chest, shoulder, and tricep muscle as well as for core strength and upper body muscle endurance.  At the academy, the pushup is part of our student fitness evaluation for muscle endurance.  The pushup can help prepare firefighters and EMS workers to push a stretcher loaded with a patient.

Begin by lying prone on the floor with your toes extended on the ground.  Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width in line with your shoulders.  Keep your hands flat on the ground. This allows your upper arms to achieve a 45 degree angle to the torso.

Inhale, then extend your elbows as you flex your shoulders.  To help you visualize the motion, think about pushing the earth away, keeping your shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line.  Continue pushing until your elbows are fully extended.  Exhale as you push upward.

Bend the elbows as you lower your body in a straight line towards the floor while inhaling.  Begin pushing when your body is a few inches from the floor and repeat.