Wall push-ups can be done anytime, anywhere.
If you thought adding some strength training to your overall fitness program was going to be costly, complicated or difficult, think again. One of the most effective exercises you can do can be done absolutely anywhere and doesn't cost a dime. You don't need a gym membership, special equipment, gear or accessories, and it can be done day or night, indoors or out. Through the power of a simple isotonic exercise, you can get progressively stronger and you won't have to beat your head against the wall to do it. Just find a wall and push back from it.
The Basics of Muscle Contractions
Every time you engage a muscle it either shortens, lengthens or stays the same. When you use a muscle and there is movement of a bone or joint, it is called an isotonic contraction. Isotonic contractions can be eccentric or concentric. Eccentric contractions occur when the muscle shortens to make a bone or joint move. Concentric contractions happen when the muscle gets longer. Wall push-ups involve both types of isotonic contractions -- eccentric as you move in towards the wall and concentric as you push back.
The Eccentric Phase
If you can find a wall, you can perform this exercise. Standing about 3 feet away from a wall, extend both arms straight out in front of you. Lean forward and place both hands flat against the wall, about shoulder-width apart. Breathe in and, without moving your feet, bend your elbows and bring your upper body towards the wall until your forehead is almost touching it. That is the eccentric part of the isotonic muscle contraction, working your pectoralis major, the front of your shoulder muscles, and the back of your arms, the triceps brachii. Hold for a count of three.
The Concentric Phase
Exhale as you slowly push your body away from the wall, until your arms are fully extended again. Hold for a count of three. This is the concentric portion of the isotonic muscle contraction and is one full repetition of the wall push-up move. You will feel it working your deltoids, shoulders and triceps. When you hold with your arms extended and just push against the wall without moving your bones or joints, you are performing an isometric muscle contraction, working your triceps, shoulders and chest.
Twelve Reps Every Other Day
Try to do 12 repetitions. Concentrate on doing the movements slowly and holding for a count of three when you push in and again when you push back out. Give your muscles a full day between wall push-up workouts to recover and rebuild. Continue to one set of 12 every other day for a couple of weeks. As you become stronger and can do 12 repetitions without muscle fatigue, add another set of 12.