October is chest and upper back month at Bodylines!

October is chest and upper back month at Bodylines! This month we give a little extra attention to strengthening these areas. They are particularly important muscles for maintaining good posture! Other great benefits of Chest and Upper Back Exercises

 – Improved breathing 
 – Feel Better
 – Opening of Chest
 – Reduce Shoulder and Back Pain
 – Prevent Injury
 – Ease of Daily Activities
 – A Lifted Chest
“Self-Confidence, Poise, consciousness of possessing the power to accomplish our desires, with renewed lively interest in life are the natural results of the practice of [Pilates] ~ Joseph Pilates
Below is just a sample of Push-Ups that can be done in at home.  These can be done in full push up position, but for ideal form try standing with hands on a stable surface or on all fours.  For those with wrist issues, hold onto  weights or make fists. Small Reps with Correct Form is the Perfect Formula.  Then don’t forget to stretch.

Wall Push-Up
Great for beginners or people with back issues. Wall push-ups will prime foundation strength for more advanced chest exercises. Start by standing a few feet in front of a bare wall, lift arms to shoulder level and place palms on wall slightly wider than shoulders. Now back feet away from wall so elbows are bent as you lean in. Now inhale, and exhale as you push off wall. Inhale as you return to start position. Slowing the pace will increase the level of difficulty. Aim for 20 push-ups. Top tip: never arch lower back, or lock arms totally straight, keep flexible bend at elbows at all times.

Plank Pose
This wonderful exercise not only strengthens chest but also abdomen, arms and lower back. Start plank pose on hands and knees – look like a table. Don’t let chest sag down between shoulders. Gaze between hands, tuck toes, and step feet back. Bring length of body and head into a straight line. Hold this plank position for 60 seconds. To come out of pose, drop lightly to knees. Repeat two more times.
Diamond Push-Ups
Like a push-up but with increased difficulty. Awesome move to increase chest muscle strength. Get into push-up position on floor. Make a diamond shape with hands; thumbs and pointer fingers should be touching – thumbs pointing down towards toes, and fingers pointing away in other direction. Now, with hands forming diamond shape, slowly push up off floor as you would normal push-up. Aim to do this five times – it will be hard!