Pushups – good or bad?

Q: I recently heard that it is not good for a woman to do full push-ups. Is this true?

A: Absolutely not! Push-ups are a great, do-anywhere way to strengthen chest and arm muscles for both men and women. The exception: If you have wrist or shoulder problems, pushups may not be your best option.

Pushups – the full kind where you’re balancing on your hands and toes – may have gotten a bad rap from women because we tend to have weaker upper bodies, making push-ups really tough to do. But you can get stronger by doing them.

If you’re just starting out, do push-ups on your knees to make it a bit easier. If that’s still too difficult, stand and place your hands on a desk or table. Try to do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, three times a week. When you’re comfortable with that, try a few full push-ups on your toes. Remember to keep your neck, back and legs in a straight line. Do as many as possible using good form, then finish your set doing them on your knees. Eventually, you’ll be able to do full push-ups for your entire workout. The sense of accomplishment will feel great, your arms and shoulders will be firmer and lugging heavy grocery bags will be easier.

Quick tip: If your wrists ache, hold onto dumbbells instead of placing your hands flat on the floor. This prevents you from bending your wrists, taking some pressure off the joint.

What you have in your mind?