The simple push-up has a lot going for it


The push-up, basic and beautiful, is one of the greatest exercises of all time.

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That’s the professional belief of Darnelle Moore — and to sell us on the classic strength-building exertion, the trainer and founder of Eastside Fitness will push herself to do 800 of them in a single day.

You read that correctly: Eight-hundred push-ups is her goal.

On May 26 at the Fraser Street gym, Moore and her team will hold their sixth annual push-up challenge. They’re going for a combined total of at least 10,000.

In 2012, a small group of pushers began with a target of 100, with Moore doing about half herself. Five challenges later, one trainer managed 1,000 push-ups in one day, bringing the group total to more than 5,000.

This Friday they will be at it again, on site at the gym from 6am to noon. Try using this challenge to test yourself and, if you want to show off your work and see what their community is all about, send them a photo of your work and total count for the day. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

The simple push-up has a lot going for it. You can do them anywhere, don’t need any equipment and they get results. Plus, measuring progress is as simple as seeing how high you can count.

Just one quality push-up activates numerous muscle groups in the chest, shoulders and arms, promotes a range of motion through your joints and develops upper-body strength and endurance.

“So many benefits from one simple move,” Moore wrote in advance of the 2015 challenge.

Whether you’re supporting yourself with your feet or your knees, proper technique for a single push-up matters more than doing a bunch of them badly.

To get the most benefit from the exercise, tighten your core to avoid a sway back. Keep your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and maintain a straight line from your head to your knees or toes. Look down at the ground, not forward. And thank the “random cavemen” who invented this exercise.

Personally, I favour the plank over the push up, but I can’t deny the push-up’s power as an excellent measure of overall physical fitness and strength. If I can smoothly crank out 10 without lagging, I’m pleased.

But, inspired by Moore, it’s something to work on. This Friday I’ll do 100 push ups through the day and send my photo proof to Eastside Fitness.

It couldn’t be more simple. Channel what Moore has said before: Drop and give her one. And then 99 after that.

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