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How to get toned arms

by Katherine Greiner / / Source: TODAY

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The dreaded pushups — we all know we should be doing them. But do they actually work — and most importantly, are you doing them right?

When done correctly, pushups can help you to strengthen your entire upper body: arms, shoulders and your chest. The only issue is that a lot of people wind up doing their pushups all wrong. Watch this video and read the step-by-step instructions below to perform the perfect pushup two different ways.

1. Wide arm pushups

wide grip push ups
Rebecca Davis / TODAY

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Start in a table top position (hands and knees) on your mat. Move your hips slightly forward and come down to a plank position on the knees. Keep your body in a straight line from shoulders to knees.

Place your hands as wide as the mat, at shoulder level. Bend at the elbows to lower chest towards the floor, while keeping your abs pulled in and tight, then press into your hands to straighten the arms and return to start.

If you're a pro already, you can perform this exercise with your knees off the ground.

2. Close grip pushups

TODAY

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Set up the same way as you did for the first pushup, however this time place your hands directly under the shoulders. Bend the elbow to lower the chest to the floor and make sure the elbows bend back and arms hug the sides of the body. Press into your hands to straighten the arms and return to start.

Aim for a set of 10 repetitions of each kind of pushup. Continue to challenge yourself and increase the repetitions as you get stronger.

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