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Start Simple: A push-up circuit for the fitness beginner


Jacksonville Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien performs a banded push-up. Push-ups are a great exercise for those looking to get a quick workout in at home. (NFL)

There are endless health benefits to working out and staying fit. However, many still haven't made exercise part of their daily, or even weekly, routine.

Going from no exercise to a full-on routine can be difficult when your body isn't used to it. Fighting through the initial soreness that comes after exercise can easily put the breaks on developing a routine. But sometimes, the key to starting a new habit is to keep it simple. Last season, NFL Up! spoke with Rashad Jennings. Instead of a full program, Jennings recommended starting with 30 push-ups each morning. After about a week, he said add another 30 at night.


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"So I think, just even at home, if you don't want to hit the gym, it's just finding something at home that you can be consistent in and that's where you get your biggest results," said Jennings.

With that in mind, we have push-up tips for those who want to start simple, but still want to see results.

The push-up is an exercise most people are familiar with. It's a great exercise that helps strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps and the core. While performing a push-up, you want make sure your body is completely straight. Don't elevate or sink the hips.

Recently, NFL Up! had a chance to chat with NFL legend and fitness guru Herschel Walker. He gave us a quick breakdown of his push-up routine. Walker knows quite a bit about bodyweight exercises like the push-up, since he still does about 1,500 a day.

Walker's routine is all about "confusing" the muscles. If you do one push-up variation, your body will adjust. You will still get stronger, but by changing up the variations like Walker, you incorporate more muscle groups and your body won't be able to catch up. You might not be able to do as many, but it will be a more complete workout by including these variations.

This includes different numbers of sets, reps and rest. In the above video, Walker starts with a set of 10 reps and works his way down by one with each following set. He rests for only about four seconds between each set.

Walker does several push-up variations. If you're a beginner, it might be best to stick with the three basic push-up types. There the normal push-up (hands at shoulder-width), wide (hands placed outside the shoulders) and closed (hands brought in to form a diamond).

Here's a video of Jacksonville Jaguars safety Johnathan Cyprien's own push-up circuit.

As you can see, it's different from Walker's workout, but still effective. Cyprien adds intensity to this workout with resistance bands. While not necessary if you're a beginner, the bands can increase the workload if you feel your own bodyweight isn't providing enough resistance.

So, if you're a strict beginner, as in 10 push-ups in a row is a struggle, start with three sets of 10 in the morning. One set as the normal push-up, one set with your arms wide and the last with your hands closed.

Once you have that down, move to the Herschel Walker circuit. Start with a set of 10 and then decrease the reps by one with each following set, resting for about four seconds between each set. You'll also need to cycle through the push-up forms with each set. Once you have this down, add another circuit at night. Before you know it, you'll be doing 100 push-ups a day.

Daniel Williams is a Digital Features Editor at You can follow him on Twitter _@danielwilliams_.

*Looking to get fit? Check out NFL Up! for workouts and tips and the NFL Up! Instagram feed for quick images and videos. *

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