14 Mar 2018

A pressing matter for your health

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At northlondonosteopaths Alan Nevies and his associates are always interested in the latest advice for improved general and specific bone and muscle health. A scientific study recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that doing the correct but quite simple exercises at home on a regular basis delivered significant health benefits, on par with the most high tech gym work out. King (or Queen!) of the user friendly home exercises was the (dreaded?) press up. The press up, done properly has remarkable muscle boosting properties for all levels of fitness. It is challenging to lift and lower your entire weight and the press up engages chest, arms, trunk, hips and legs. Labelled a brute of an exercise, it requires your body to be as rigid and stable as a plank as your arms buckle through the strain of lowering and lifting your body.

Alan Nevies and associates at northlondonosteopaths recommends doing press ups in the following way:

  • Lie on the floor face down with palms beneath shoulders, balls of feet touching ground, legs extended and body straight. Put a shoe beneath your chest
  • Grip the floor with your hands, palms downwards as you push up, elbows rotating as you rise so they are perpendicular to your body, squeezing arm pits to keep arms in position
  • Head and neck should be in a straight diagonal line with body and legs, squeezing buttocks as hard as possible to take strain off the spine
  • Pressing ankles together activates leg muscles
  • Do not tuck chin in or look up and ahead. Pull shoulders down, away from ears
  • Begin lowering torso by bending elbows, leading with your chest till chest touches the shoe. Upper back muscles should control the movement, feeling as if you are pulling yourself to the floor
  • Inhale deeply as your lower, exhale as you rise
  • Stay controlled throughout the whole movement, imagining your body as a strong, solid unit

Alan Nevies and colleagues hope that you find this advice helpful and you can always come and see us at northlondonosteopaths for more tips and supervision for this and other beneficial exercises.