App of the Week: Push-ups
PushUps 0 to 100
In a recent newsletter from Harvard Medical School I read that for a strong core we should forget sit-ups and try "planks" instead. Sit-ups are hard on your back, it says, and all that work on your hip flexors can cause them to become over tight and lead to back pain.
This app is designed to help almost anyone achieve a goal of 100 push-ups within the 10-week programme. Even absolute beginners can do it; you lean against a table and push up against your body weight. The more competent can do knee or full push-ups and move ahead in the programme.
The settings allow you to choose your push-up type, the gender of your coach's voice and whether you want coaching with voice, beep or not at all. Then you start.
Using the touch screen, you slide your finger up the programme "tree" to find a place that you would be comfortable to start at. An icon clearly indicates the programme for any day; for example on week seven, day three you see a little icon showing a push-up routine of 10:12:14:12:10. You rest between each set; but even so, I didn't start there.
I started at the beginning - 3:5:5:5. A lengthy five-minute stretch is recommended and the app directs you to YouTube to view one of their favourite sites for stretches. Here I found an old friend, Jillian Michaels, whose weight loss and exercise app we have previously reviewed.
I had yet to learn that you can fast forward your rest periods so after my first three push-ups, I spent a bored 90 seconds waiting for the go ahead for my next set.
While I was originally disdainful of using an app to do something as simple as push-ups, this app does make the process fun, and having a plan that progresses towards a 100-push-up goal is motivational. You get badges for progressing through the programme, as well as the chance to bore your friends by sharing your achievements on social media.