Back-to-school season is a great time to establish a steady workout routine. Cayman International School teacher Coach Gregory Simcoe, who has been teaching kindergarten to Grade 5 physical education since the school’s opening 11 years ago, recommends finding a workout that fits your style and to remember proper nutrition is important as well.
“Nutrition and physical activity go hand in hand, so there’s no sense working out and then going home and eating a triple cheese pizza with a tub of ice cream,” he says. “I recommend being physically active at least three times a week for 20 minutes. Start slowly and increase according to age, ability and fitness level. For diet, go for fruits and vegetables with protein; chicken is great and so are nuts.”
Coach Greg says that although push-ups are simple to do, there are many variations and modifications for people depending on their fitness level.
“Beginners can start by pushing against a wall or a desk to ease the pressure on the shoulders. Or you can start on the ground, but bend your knees to reduce some of the body weight,” he says.
“You can also adjust the position of your hands, performing a narrow push-up or a wide push-up, or even a triangle push-up. You can also roll a tennis ball between your hands which helps activate your core.”
Coach Gret suggests performing three sets of 15 push-ups.
Follow Coach Greg’s guided steps to try three variations of a push-up at home, at the office or at a gym.
STEP BY STEP
Get into plank position, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. As you lower yourself, tuck your elbows, pulling them close to your body so that your upper arms form a 45-degree angle when your torso is in the bottom position of the move. Pause, then push back to the starting position. Keep your core engaged the entire time.
BENT KNEE PUSH-UP
Get into plank position, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your knees gently to the floor. With your hands still shoulder-width apart, back flat and head looking forward, slowly lower yourself toward the ground, bending at the elbows to where your chest barely touches the ground. Use your knees to support some of the weight. Pause for a few seconds, then push back up in a slow and controlled fashion.
Stand in front of a bare wall and lift your arms up to shoulder level. Place your palms against the wall so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders. Your fingertips should be pointing up. Step back a couple feet away from the wall so that your elbows are bent as you lean on an angle into the wall. Keep your back straight and exhale as you push off the wall until your arms are in an outstretched position with elbows slightly bent. Inhale as you go back
to the starting position.
Coach Greg’s Tip: During the lower phase of each push-up, be sure to breathe in, then as you push off the floor or wall, breathe out.