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How Can a 60 Year Old Start Push ups?

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 2/25/2010

You may know that push ups are an accurate barometer of overall strength. You probably also know that strength training is important for people of all ages. If you're wondering how a 60 year old can start push ups to fight fragility as they age, read on!

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    Push Ups

    Push ups engage the muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs providing a full body workout that has far reaching benefits. This is an extremely important exercise for people as they age. The ability to do them with proper form gives a strong indication of your ability to withstand some of the effects of aging.

    Strengthening your muscles and bones through body weight exercises can help you maintain your vitality and offer assurance that a fall will not do more damage than it should.

    In a fall, people generally reach out to catch themselves, the hands hit the ground, and the wrists and arms absorb much of the impact. This falling action is an exaggerated push up. With consistent training, your body can be prepared to deal with the stress. So, if you're ready to get in shape, but are wondering, how can a 60 year old start push ups at this age, here's the answer!

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    Start Where You Are

    Push ups are also a fantastic exercise for the simple fact they require no equipment or special gear. You do not need special shoes, a new workout clothing, access to a gym, good weather or any weights, aside from your own body weight.

    If a floor-based push up is too difficult, take the following steps to build your strength. You will feel your strength begin to build, and should gradually attempt the next level. Simply add one or two attempts at the next hardest push up each time you work out to help gauge where you are.

    Wall Push ups.

    • Stand facing a wall, with your feet shoulder width apart.
    • Place your arms straight out in front of you on the wall.
    • Keep your stomach tucked in and back straight.
    • Lean in and then press yourself off the wall.
    • Repeat.
    • Vary the distance between your feet and the wall. The closer you stand to the wall, the easier the exercise will be.

    Counter Top Push ups.

    • Stand in front of a counter top.
    • Lean in at a 45 degree angle
    • Keeping your abdomen tucked in and back straight
    • Lean in and press off
    • Repeat

    Stair Push Ups

    • Using a set of stairs is a good transition to the floor.
    • Decide on the angle you are most comfortable with
    • Proceed as above

    Once you have built up your strength, attempt knee push ups, which buffers the impact of your full weight, and then try a full body push up. Although it is true that natural aging causes nerves to die off and weaken, and people lose as much as 30 percent of their strength between the ages of 20 and 70, it is also true that consistent exercise will enlarge the muscle fiber and increase the strength you do have.

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    Keep Track of Your Success

    Push ups are an exercise that has a solid learning curve. Start where you are, with the strength that you have, and with consistent workouts you can drop and give me twenty in no time! Just try to beat Jack Lalanne. He is known for his amazing ability to do push ups. He set a world record doing 1,000 push ups in 23 minutes.

    Whatever your goal is, be sure to write down your results. It may be quite humbling at the beginning, but will be become gratifying as you see how quickly progress is made. How can a 60 year old start push ups as a beginner? You now know the answer!

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    References

    An Eduring Measure of Fitness by Tara Parker Pope, New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/health/nutrition/11well.html?_r=1&em&ex=1205985600&en=4e6fe8a96546adbf&ei=5087%0A

    100 Push up Challenge - http://hundredpushups.com/

    Men's Health Total Fitness Guide 2008, Rodale