1 Exercise For an Amazing Back, Shoulders, and Arms


On awards night, like the Oscars, it’s not often that a trainer is called in last minute to do a workout. But rare occurrences do take place – I was the lucky trainer in that position a few years ago.

Anne Hathaway was going through some last minute preparations for her walk on the red carpet as an Oscar nominee for Rachel Getting Married. She was going to wear a white, backless dress that would also expose her arms and shoulders. Anne wanted to make sure she looked fantastic!

What better way to look and feel fantastic than with a workout? I got Anne to do one exercise move that increased the blood flow to her exposed muscles. This move not only made Anne look great physically, but it also gave her an adrenaline rush that gave her confidence. This move was the final touch that got Anne red carpet ready.

So, what was the last minute exercise? The good ‘ol push-up of course!

Push-ups have always been an excellent exercise choice for defining your chest, back, shoulders, and arms. This classic move even uses other muscles in your body, making it great for a quick workout. 

How to Do a Push-Up

Here’s how you can get the most out of your pushup:

  1. Evenly distribute your body weight onto your toes and hands, while in a plank position (no buns in the air). Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Inhale and lower your body to the ground by bending your elbows to reach 90 degrees. Stop before you touch the ground.
  3. Exhale and push yourself up and away from the ground, back to plank position. 

Repeat 5-10 times for 2-3 sets.

3 Push-up Variations

If you really want to challenge yourself, you can also try any of these push-up variations:

    • Bring your thumbs and index fingers of both hands together to form a diamond underneath your chest. Diamond push-ups can help place greater emphasis on your triceps.
    • Keep your elbows pointing towards your knees instead of to the side. This push-up variation will help workout your shoulders. 
    • Place your hands or feet on an elevated surface, such as a bench and perform a push-up. You will be lifting 60 – 65% of your body weight and be putting focus on your pectoral muscles. 
    • Use explosive power on the way up so that you are able to clap your hands and place them underneath you, before the next explosive move up. This will help build explosive power in your pectoral muscles.

So what are you waiting for? Challenge yourself to all of these push-up variations. In no time at all, it will be as easy as 3-2-1.