Name the top three exercises you can do at home. Ready…GO! More than likely, push-ups are on that list. That’s because push-ups are one of the simplest, yet most effective exercises in existence. Ladies, don’t stop reading just yet. Push-ups aren’t a “man’s exercise.” They’re for everyone!
Here the top five reasons YOU should be doing push-ups, too.
- Push-ups are a full body workout. Sure, your arms get a great workout, but in addition to your triceps, push-ups work your chest, shoulders, a number of muscles in your trunk and upper leg areas, and the majority of the muscles on the back side of your body. All of this muscle recruitment makes this exercise great for increasing muscle definition, density, and conditioning as well as increasing your metabolic rate. So whether you’re training for strength, muscle size, or weight loss, push-ups should be included in your workouts.
- They increase bone mass. As a general rule, exercises that cause you to bear weight on any particular part of your body will increase the bone density in that area. Since you will be holding a good amount of your weight on your hands, your hand, wrist, forearm, upper arm, and shoulder bones will all likely see an increase in density after performing push-ups for a while. If you’re a senior, take note! Push-ups work against bone loss in the upper body.
- Push-ups rehabilitate the shoulders. If you’ve had any shoulder injuries you’ve recovered from fully, your therapist may recommend performing push-ups to rehab your shoulder. That’s because the stability and strength that develops in the chest and shoulder girdle is unmatched by most other bodyweight or machine exercises.
- They strengthen your core. Few health and fitness professionals would argue against the fact that your core can never be too strong. After you get done planking, throw some push-ups into your routine to build your core strength. Nothing like resisting spinal extension (arching your back) while trying to defy gravity with your arms.
- Push-ups need no equipment. While there are an almost unlimited number of variations of push-ups that can use equipment, you don’t actually have to have any available to perform them. Thus, leaving you no excuse not to do them.
Don’t know where to start? Try two sets within your normal workout performing as many repetitions as possible. After the first set, take a one to two minute break, then rep it out once more. If you try it, comment below to tell us how you feel!