Push-ups are a simple yet effective bodyweight exercise that can provide a variety of benefits for both beginners and experienced fitness enthusiasts.
It is a classic exercise that has been used for decades to build upper body strength and tone the chest, arms, and shoulders.
The exact origin of push-ups is not clear, as variations of this exercise have been used in different cultures throughout history. It is believed that push-ups, or a similar exercise, have been performed for centuries.
One theory suggests that the ancient Greeks and Romans used push-ups as part of their physical training. In fact, the Greek philosopher and historian, Xenophon, described push-ups in his writings over 2,000 years ago.
Another theory suggests that push-ups were used in India as part of the Hindu tradition of physical and spiritual practices called yoga. Yoga dates back over 5,000 years, and some of the poses practiced in yoga involve movements similar to push-ups.
It is also believed that push-ups were used as a form of military training in ancient China, with soldiers performing push-ups as part of their physical preparation for battle.
In modern times, push-ups have become a popular exercise that people around the world practice regularly. For those who are still hesitant to give it a try, I’ve compiled my top five reasons why you should do push-ups regularly.
Reason #1: Increase muscle strength
Push-ups work several muscle groups at once, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. As you perform push-ups, you will be lifting your own body weight, which can help to improve muscle strength and endurance.
Reason #2: Build a fit and sexy physique
Push-ups primarily work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles, providing a full-body workout. Consistent practice of push-ups can lead to toned arms, a sculpted chest, and a stronger core, ultimately helping you achieve a fit and sexy physique.
Reason #3: Improve your posture
Push-ups can help to improve posture by strengthening the muscles in the upper back and shoulders. Stronger muscles in these areas can help to keep the shoulders back and the spine in a neutral position, which can improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain.
Reason #4: Gain greater flexibility
Push-ups can also help to increase flexibility in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. As you lower your body towards the ground during a push-up, you will be stretching these muscles, which can help to improve flexibility.
Reason #5: It’s convenient
One of the major benefits of push-ups is that they can be done anywhere, at any time. All you need is your own body weight and a flat surface, making push-ups an ideal exercise for those who don’t have access to a gym.
Incorporating push-ups into your workout routine can provide a number of physical and health benefits. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, push-ups can be a valuable addition to any workout.
Doing push-ups correctly
If you do push-ups incorrectly, you may not fully engage the muscles that you are trying to target, which can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
Additionally, performing push-ups incorrectly can increase the risk of injury, particularly if you have pre-existing muscle imbalances or joint problems.
Common mistakes to avoid when doing push-ups
Not maintaining a straight line: It is important to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels while performing push-ups. If your hips sag or your back arches, you may not be fully engaging your core muscles, which can lead to back pain and poor form.
Flaring the elbows: Keep your elbows close to your body as you lower yourself toward the ground. Flaring your elbows out to the sides can put unnecessary strain on your shoulder joint and increase the risk of injury.
Locking out the elbows: As you push yourself back up, make sure to stop short of fully straightening your arms. Locking out your elbows can cause strain on your elbow joints and decrease the effectiveness of the exercise.
Arching the neck: Keep your neck in a neutral position and avoid looking up or down as you perform push-ups. Arching your neck can lead to neck strain and poor form.
If you are unsure about your form, consider working with a personal trainer or physical therapist who can help you to properly execute the exercise.
How often you should do push-ups
The frequency of push-ups that is right for you will depend on your current fitness level, goals, and overall workout routine.
Here are some general guidelines for incorporating push-ups into your workout routine:
Beginners: If you are new to push-ups or have low upper-body strength, you may want to start with a few sets of push-ups two or three times per week.
As you build strength, you can gradually increase the number of sets and the frequency of your push-up workouts.
Intermediate: If you have moderate upper body strength and are able to perform several sets of push-ups with good form, you may want to aim for three to four push-up workouts per week.
You can also try incorporating different variations of push-ups, such as wide-grip push-ups or decline push-ups, to challenge your muscles in new ways.
Advanced: If you have high upper body strength and are able to perform several sets of push-ups with ease, you may want to consider incorporating push-ups into your routine four to five times per week.
You can also try using resistance bands or a weight vest to increase the difficulty of your push-ups.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and you may need to adjust your push-up frequency based on your individual needs and goals.
Make sure to allow your muscles time to recover between workouts, so be sure to incorporate rest days into your routine as well.