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Upper Body Strength Training

Here I am discussing upper body strength training. You may find the beginning disappointing, and the very word “push-ups” may conjure up images of boot camp and torture. There is no need for torture: you can start out with a modified version.

Modified push-ups in standing position

1. Stand in front of a wall (2 to 3 ft. away).

2. Extend your hands in a straight line from your shoulders, till they reach the wall.

3. Lower your body toward the wall and push away, till you return to the initial position (see 1.)

Do a set of 10 – pause for 1 minute – repeat twice.

Once this modified push-up exercise is easy, move on to a modification where you use a table or a kitchen counter.

This is the example for the following modification.

Upper body push-ups using table or counter

1. Stand in front of a table or the kitchen counter (2 to 3 ft. away)

2. Extend your hands in a straight line from the shoulder to reach the table top. When you lower your upper body to the table top by bending your lower back, your shoulders will be over your hands.

3. Lower your upper body and push back till you reach the initial position (see 1).

Repeat this exercise 10 times, pause for 1 minute, and do another 2 sets of 10 with a one minute pause between sets.

You will be ready for the next variation, once you can easily manage this push-up variation, which starts from a kneeling position.

 Lower Body Strength Training

Lower Body Strength Training

Upper body push-ups in kneeling position

1. Kneel on the floor (note: people with arthritis in the knees or meniscal problems are exempt from this exercise).

2. Extend your arms to the floor (as before in a straight line from the shoulder).

3. Lower yourself until first your hands touch the floor, at which time you bend your elbows. Continue to lower your upper body until your chest touches the floor. (Don’t drag your stomach on the floor!) Push yourself back to the initial kneeling position.

Do 3 set of 10 push-ups with a 1 minute pause in between sets.

Once you have become comfortable with these modified push-ups, you can go on to the real mean push ups, where only your toes touch the ground and your arms are fully extended.

Again: 3 sets of 10 push-ups with the 1 minute pause between sets should do.

P.S. If you still hate regular push ups, stick to the modification that you can live with, or alternate between the various options.



1. B. Sears: “The age-free zone”.Regan Books, Harper Collins, 2000. Also see Dr. Sears’ site.

2. B. Sears: “Zone perfect meals in minutes”. Regan Books, Harper Also see Dr. Sears’ site.

3. B.J. Wilcox, D.C. Willcox and M. Suzuki: “The Okinawa Program.”    Clarkson Potter,2001, N.Y., U.S.A.

4. E.L. Rossi: The psychobiology of mind-body healing. Norton &Co.,   1986, N.Y., U.S.A.

5. Vitamins and Foods. Audio-Digest Family Practice Vol 49, Issue 29,    Aug.7, 2001.

6. P.C. McGraw: Life strategies. 1999, Simon&Schuster Source, N.Y.,    U.S.A.

7. B. Sears: “The top 100 zone foods”. Regan Books, Harper Collins,   2001. Also see Dr. Sears’ site.

Last modified: September 12, 2014

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.