Why Push-ups Are THE BEST
Remember back when you were in grade school and gym class was the best class? P.E was basically an extension of recess..and as long as you put the effort in, you got a good grade (unless you had the ex-military, bootcamp style teacher who didn't care about your feelings).
P.E class, for me, was all fun and games until "Assessment Week." *dun dun duuun*. My teacher made us do all types of assessments that tested my cardiovascular endurance, "core" strength (gotta love that YMCA Sit-up test), and upper body strength. I was okay with all the tests except for the push-ups. I started off with modified push-ups and cranked out a measly 3 push-ups
Over the years, I eventually got better at my technique and stronger at the actual push-up itself. I didn't fully embrace the dreaded exercise until I became a trainer and did my own research. If you've ever wondered why push-ups are so beneficial, here's why:
1). Push-ups are a total body exercise
When performed with proper form, every body part from the head to toe should be working, either as stabilizers or as actual movers. A tight core and glutes help maintain a neutral, or straight back. The upper back, chest, shoulders, and triceps are the muscles that actually move you from point A to point B against gravity. The lower body, also must be engaged to keep your body in line.
2) Push-ups are a great way to build lean muscle.
Who doesn't want to look a little more toned and lean in the upper body? The great thing about push-ups is how they can be modified no matter where you are in your push-up journey. If you're a beginner or advanced, after a few weeks with push-up variations, you should start to see and feel a difference.
3) Push-ups help build healthy shoulders.
Our shoulder blades were meant to move. Exercises such as the bench press, machine chest press are great, but your shoulder blades are stuck to a bench or machine pad. During a proper push-up, your shoulder blades and arms move through their natural range of motion. Mobile shoulder blades/mid back can prevent shoulder issues, help with posture, and minimize lower back pain. Now if you just had shoulder surgery, or dealing with an injury, be conscious of your body and check with a PT/Chiro before you add push-ups into your routine.
4) Push-ups are FUN!
Maybe "fun" isn't the best word here, but it's a pretty awesome when you can feel your body get better and stronger at a challenging movement. Sometimes clients come to me because they want to lost a bunch of weight, but the thing that gives them most satisfaction is mastering a movement and getting better at it.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. If you're struggling to get your first push-up or you have trouble with form check out this video for push-up progressions OR stop by our training facility and we'll be happy to help you out!
Till next time..Keep calm and PUSH on!