Benefits of Push-up Exercise
We all know that doing exercises is good for our body and also our minds. Fitness experts recommend doing at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday for good health. If you can spend more time doing exercises, why not? You’ll be surprised and grateful with your body after several months of regular exercise. However, you need to select workout routines or exercises that your body needs. You should know that each type of exercise targets a specific part of your body or addresses a specific condition. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of push-up exercise.
Push-up exercise is one of the basic exercises to build muscle and improve upper body strength. There are variations of doing a push-up, but the traditional form according to Healthline.com is this:
- Start kneeling on an exercise mat or the floor and bring your feet together behind you.
- Bend forward to position yourself in a high plank, the top of a pushup position, with your palms flat on the mat, hands shoulder-width apart, and with your fingers facing forward or hands turned slightly in. Your shoulders should be positioned over your hands. Your feet should be together behind you and your back should be flat. Keep your abs pulled in.
- Slowly lower your body toward the floor. Maintain a rigid torso and keep your head aligned with your spine. Don’t let your low back sag or your hips hike upward.
- Continue to lower yourself until your chest or chin touch the ground. Your elbows may flare out during the downward movement.
- Press upward with your arms. Continue pressing until your arms are fully extended at your elbows and you’re back in the plank, at the top of the pushup position.
- Repeat the downward movement. Start with 10 pushups, or however many you can do with proper form, and work your way up as you build strength.
Now that you know the proper form of doing a push-up, let’s discuss the benefits of doing push-ups.
- Push-up exercises builds muscle. Doing push-ups require the use of different muscle groups in the body. Mainly, push-ups target the triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders. Since you are using your body weight to perform the exercise, your triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders will gradually build muscle mass. This is a great exercise for those who want to flex their muscles without the need of wearing a tight t-shirt or those who just have a more study physical appearance. Nowadays, even women are going for that contoured body with more muscles on the chest, triceps, biceps, and upper back area.
- Easy exercise. Traditional push-up does not need any equipment for you to do it. You just need a hard floor and you are ready to go. You can even do it anywhere and anytime. The usual form is done with your toes on the floor and your legs extended. But if there’s not much space, you can raise your legs and balance your body on your knees. However, do not forget to warm up your body and stretch before doing push-ups.
- Push-ups can be varied. When you are used to the traditional form of push-up, you can raise the difficulty by varying your form. You can start by using one hand only, with your other hand placed at your lower back. This would not only help build muscle, but will also increase your strength and endurance. Another popular variation is the clap push-up. Every time you raise your upper body, clap your hands then bring them back on the floor. It’s popular on TikTok and Instagram. Aside from improving your body, you can also take a video of yourself to show to other people and maybe you can inspire them too.
- Build strength. Aside from increasing muscle mass, push-ups increase your strength in general. You may ask, for what? Well, push-ups will help you carry your bags of grocery easily, move furniture effortlessly, or do your household chores with ease. Basically, you’ll be able to do extraneous tasks more efficiently than before. So, your muscles are not only for a show, but they are useful in real life too.
- Safer alternative to bench press. If you do not have a bench press at home or you cannot go to the gym, you can do push-ups instead. Bench press and push-ups target the same muscle areas. You’ll need to do more push-ups but at least you can still achieve your goal. Moreover, push-ups lessen the tendency for injuries compared to lifting weights with bench press.
- Stretch your muscles. Push-ups actually stretch your muscles in the long run. According to the website of Strong Chap, push-ups provide a deep stretch to your triceps, shoulder, and back muscles. So, while doing push-ups, your muscles are also warming up and being stretched which results to increased muscle elasticity and flexibility.
- Burn fats. Because push-ups require several parts of your body working together, you are also burning fats in the process. From getting down to the floor and preparing your form, you are already losing a few pounds. The push-and-pull motion of your body as well the resistance you need to exert to maintain your balance is already a workout exercise for your body. Since push-ups can be varied, you can combine push-ups with other exercises so that your whole body can be exercised.
- Enhance the chest area. Yep, girls who don’t want to wear a push-up bra can do push-ups instead. Push-ups can target the pectoral area to build a firmer and thicker chest area. If boys can build muscle on their chest area, so can girls. The effect is not instant, but it will help give a lift to the breasts to make it more fuller. It requires effort and dedication, but you’ll be surprised with the results in the end.
Jane Chertoff. May 29, 2020. “What Are the Benefits and Risks of Doing Daily Pushups?” Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/pushups-everyday#risks
Reda Elmardi. April 27, 2020. “17 Benefits of Push Ups That Will Have You Pushing Up Every Chest Day.” Retrieved from https://strongchap.com/benefits-of-push-ups/