One of my readers, who has been working himself back into good shape, sent in a question about doing pushups, even though he has bad knees. He wanted to know how he could still do pushups, but avoid getting down on the floor. Luckily, I have an answer for his question.
For every standard exercise, there is usually a variation of that exercise that you can do. For instance, when many people start with regular pushups, they can’t do them very well, because they don’t have enough strength in the arms and shoulders to propel themselves up and down. In this case, you should start doing pushups with your knees on the floor and build up to the point where you can do regular pushups. It won’t take very long for this to happen, if you are doing regular exercise.
If you have bad knees, you can do wall pushups. First, you find the nearest wall, which shouldn’t be too hard. Then, you place your hands on the wall in the same relative position you would place them on the floor, ie., shoulder width apart. Then, you move your feet back from the wall, to create an angle.
When I started doing these, my feet were about 24 inches from the wall. As I got better, I started progressively moving my feet a little farther back and now, I can easily do these with my feet 36 inches away from the wall. You lean into the wall, get balanced on the front of your feet and start moving, pressing up and down. You adjust your angle, so that your back is straight, just as if you were on the floor.
You can do almost any pushup variation this way and it won’t affect your knees at all. I have done a bunch of variations in this way, like military pushups, wide arm pushups, diamond pushups, fingertip pushups and…believe it, or not…one arm pushups and even one arm, fingertip pushups. At the moment, I am working on one arm, two-finger pushups.
Exercise can be extremely creative, so don’t think that just because you have a problem area, that you can’t work out. Because with a little imagination, you can avoid the problem area and get the rest of you running like a top. Many times, this will even help the problem area.
Of course, if you have a very serious problem, you should discuss what you are going to do with your doctor and get approval, first. There are many physical therapists and trainers who can also provide you with safe and alternative exercise programs, to help you get stronger.
This morning, while watching Imus on Fox, he gave fish oil a huge plug. Since being diagnosed with cancer years ago, he changed his lifestyle completely and it looks like he has beaten cancer. Fish oil is a big part of his routine and he said it has made a big difference in the way he feels. Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, Imus, by his own admission, was a poster boy for how NOT to be healthy and said that he was very lucky to get off with just a warning.
The body is extremely resilient. Six months of healthy eating, exercise and proper supplementation can reverse years of abuse. Get started now and make it easy on yourself.