The Pushup. The most simple exercise known to man, and everyone pretty much knows what it is. Personal trainers in Las Vegas, in LA, in Dallas, in New York and Iowa all have their clients do some form of pushup to start off with. There are many different variations of it, spiderman pushups, walk out pushups, burpees with a pushup, dive bomber pushups, decline pushups and on and on and on. No, they are not all created equal, and no, they are not all as effective as each other. I’m here to tell you today, how to make each one, MUCH more effective than you have been doing them though. There are a few simple techniques to make your pushups WAY more effective than your current version. 1. Squeeze Your Booty- I like to steal a phrase I learned from…. I don’t really remember where I heard it, but at some fitness convention: Apples and Applesauce. We are talking about your butt, so figure this one out. Apples-nice, tight and crisp. Applesauce- Mushy and gross. We need our butt in the “apples” position at all time. In short, keep your butt flexed throughout the entire exercise. 2. Flex Your Abs- This might sound like a given, seeing as how you are in the plank position, but most people don’t do this one little thing, and then complain that pushups hurt their backs. If you keep your abs contracted the whole time, your back will become a non-issue. 3. Don’t Rely On Your Joints- If you rely on your actual muscles to LOWER your body, AND raise it, this pushup will become more effective than most anything you do. Most women come to the top of the pushup, lock out, and put all the pressure of their bodyweight on their elbows, shoulders and wrists, then wonder why their wrists hurt. The exercise is for, you guessed it, muscles, not joints. Keep the pressure on your muscles, and don’t lock out entirely, and your muscles will grow much more exponentially than if you gave them a break at the top position. There you have it. Do 10 of your own pushups, then do 10 of your “new” pushups, and notice the difference. I will tell you this. It will be much more challenging to bust out sets of 20. If you get 5 good ones, congratulate yourself, and then commit to keeping these checkpoints no matter what kind of pushup you do.