Monday, December 11, 2017
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Letter: Full pushups aren't just for men

A simple push to get in shape | Dec. 1, column

Women can be as strong as men

I am an elementary physical educator and an avid sports fan and participant. I have participated in all types of team and individual sports over my 45 years. I was very disappointed to see you tell women to do pushups on their knees and men to do them on their toes. The knee pushups are not specific to women, but rather specific to people not yet strong enough to do a full pushup. You are putting women down by telling them to do them the "easier" way.

I have done full pushups my whole life. Since I was 38 years old I have done my age in pushups every single day. I have not missed a day in seven years. I teach my students to do the same thing. My 7-year-olds do seven every day, my 8-year-olds do eight and so on. If they cannot do a full pushup I have them do pushup holds where they hold their body weight in the up position as long as they can. This still builds strength in the muscles required for full pushups.

I hate when women put themselves down by believing men are the strong sex. I have many young girls who complete many more full pushups than the boys do. We need to stop telling women they need to do things the "easier" way. Women need strong and healthy bodies and a full pushup is a wonderful, lifelong exercise that should be taught to them at a young age.

Boys and girls who have not developed their muscle strength can begin with knee pushups with the ultimate goal of both sexes being the full pushup.

Kim Hopkins, Tampa

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