Upper Body Strength

Many of you might think that because you were born women you will always struggle with upper body strength.  This myth is perpetuated even by those who are supposed to be knowledgeable fitness professionals who offer advice about “alternative” pushups for the women who cannot summon the strength to do a standard pushup.

This is nonsense! Sure, there are lots of you who may not be able to do a pushup TODAY, but guess what? There are a lot of men who can’t do one either.  The reason any woman (or man, for that matter) can’t do a pushup has nothing to do with the way they were born. It’s simply because they haven’t worked on improving their upper body strength. 

For some women, this is in large part because they have been told for so long how weak their upper bodies are, that they honestly believe they can’t do it.

Read the following excerpt from a study published in The Physician and Sports Medicine.

“Based on a strength-to-lean-body-mass ratio, women are about equal in strength to men, and when strength is calculated per cross-sectional area of muscle, no significant gender difference exists.”

The same study went on to list several reasons that strength training is beneficial to women, but I didn’t need study to tell me that!  Strength training builds lean muscle.  The more lean muscle that you have, the more effective your workouts will be, and the more fat you’ll burn.

Also, your metabolism speeds up the higher your ratio of muscle to fat.  Of course, you’ll be STRONGER which will open up a whole new set of possibilities for you.

At NYC Adventure Boot Camp learning about strength training is a big part of our program.  Not only will we teach you HOW to build strength, but we’ll challenge you so that you can see just how much strength you really possess (hint: SAND BAGS!).

Push aside all the thoughts about how weak we are as women.  I’m not weak, and neither are you! You CAN do a pushup.  You CAN do 25 pushups. Maybe not today, but you can do it.  Now that you know that, there is nothing stopping you!

Upper Body Fit Tips:

Begin sitting on a step or chair with hands next to thighs. Balance on your arms, moving backside in front of the step with legs straight (harder) or bent (easier). Bend the elbows and lower body a few inches, keeping the shoulders down and the elbows parallel to one another and at 90 degrees. Push back up to starting position and repeat.


Push Ups
Begin in a pushup position on the floor, hands wider than shoulders and resting on the knees or on a ball for added intensity. Bend elbows and lower into a pushup, elbows to 90 degrees and abs in tight. Don’t sag in the middle. Push back to start and repeat.



Chest/Bench Press
Lie on a ball, bench or floor with abs contracted. Begin with weights straight up over chest, elbows slightly bent. Bend the elbows and lower arms until the elbows are just below shoulder level (arms should look like a goal post). Contract the chest and push arms up, but don’t allow weights to touch at the top.


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