I’ve always loved this exercise – the push up. I used to do them regularly as a teenager and young adult but got out of the habit after I went to college and was burning the midnight oil while studying for my double major degree and working. After I graduated, I got a job in corporate America, and spent most of my working hours sitting in a cubicle.

Finally, after living a rather sedentary life as a corporate employee for over five years, I realized the importance of doing push ups again. I had lost muscle definition in my arms and shoulders, and missed being able to carry heavy loads so easily. After joining a local gym, I started doing push ups again while working with a personal trainer. I will never look back to my sedentary life…life is so much better with regular exercise.

Push ups are quick to do, and one of the best exercises to choose if you don’t have much time in your day to devote to working out. In addition, there is more than one version of the push up. The perfect push up is the most common version. To do a perfect push up, you will need to get on all fours, and make sure your spine and body is straight. Your elbows should be bent slightly. Slowly lower your body to allow your chin to touch the floor, then lift your body up again, allowing your arms to straighten. Repeat as many times as is comfortable. Note: Unless you are using a mat, wearing a pair of shoes with good traction may be helpful to prevent your feet from slipping.

There is no need to overdo it while starting to do push ups. When I got back into the routine, I could do only one the first time I tried. I built up from there day by day and in a few weeks was doing 10 per workout. Also, for those who can’t do a push up at first, doing as much of one as is possible, i.e. lowering your body half-way to the floor and lifting yourself up again, is a great way to gradually strengthen the muscles and buildup to do a perfect push up.

The second most popular version of the push up is the bent knee push up. To do this type of push up, you will need to get on your hands and knees, and make sure your spine and body is straight. Slowly lower your body to allow your chin to touch the floor, then lift your body up again, allowing your arms to straighten. Repeat as many times as is comfortable.

While I prefer to do perfect push ups, lots of women prefer the bent knee push up. Regardless of the version, the push up is an awesome exercise to strengthen the core muscles. Doing just a few daily will provide noticeably stronger triceps, shoulders, chest, and core. Of course, it is always good to check with a doctor before beginning an exercise routine.