Shoulder Width Push-ups:
- Equipment: Just yourself
The push-up is perhaps one of the most basic calisthenic, or body weight, exercises. A great measure of fitness, the push-up is a staple part of my own workouts and routines. To begin, start with your hands and feet supporting your body. Your body should be straight and level, and your hands should be directly beneath your shoulder. With arms beginning in a straight position, carefully bend your arms until your elbows make a 90 degree angle. Then, push yourself back up. You have just performed one repetition, or rep, of a pushup. Do 1 set of 15-25 push-ups.
- Equipment: Pull-up bar
Begin with hanging on the bar, your hands gripping the bar a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Make sure your hands are gripping the bar in a way such that your palms are facing outward, away from you. Carefully pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Try not to allow your body to swing. Slowly lower yourself. This is one repetition of the pullup.
If a pull-up is just out of your grasp, either rotate your grip 180 degrees so that your palms are facing towards you, and follow the same steps as a pull-up to do a chin-up. On the other hand, if the chin-up or pull-up is too difficult, you can grab a chair and give yourself a slight push with your legs to help your chin reach the bar. Be sure to slowly lower yourself though in order to train your muscles for a full on chin-up or pull-up.
Aim for a set of 5-10 pull-ups.
Continue with another set of push-ups (15-25 reps), this time with your hands around 6-9 inches further apart than in the original set of push-ups, and a set of chin-ups (5-10 reps).
**Repeat the above series of 4 sets three more times. Take breaks between each group of 4 sets as needed**
- Equipment: Just yourself!
Start by lying on the ground or a matt. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head so that your elbows are pointing towards the sky; you can either interlock your fingers behind your head or just have your ears basically cupped in your palms. Without pushing your neck forward, use your abdomen to raise your shoulders off the ground. As you do so, breathe out and crunch your stomach in. Once you feel your lower back about to leave the ground, lower yourself back down to the original rest position. This is one repetition of a crunch. Only for this exercise do I suggest a minimum of 20 repetitions per round.
**Repeat the set of crunches 2 more times**
~Written by James Wu