We all know how to do push-ups. In fact, it’s probably the very first exercise we learn as kids. It’s really basic, and pretty much accessible to anyone. That’s not to say they are easy, though. In fact, push-ups are incredibly challenging.
But the fact of the matter is, they are a staple exercise that should be integrated into our workout routines, be it at home or in the boxing gym.
Once you have the basics down, you can transform your push-ups into modified versions to increase the difficulty level. Different variations bring different results, which you can conform to fit your specific fitness goals.
Without a doubt, push-ups are one of the most effective exercises for building functional strength.
The best thing about push-ups is that you don’t need shoes, special gear, clothes, or equipment. You don’t even need a yoga mat. All you need is your own body weight, and your able hands.
There is a long list of benefits that can be attributed, at least in part, to regularly doing push-ups. But of course, you need to pay attention to the proper form to reap the full effects. Let’s take a look at what you get for doing this amazing exercise.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five amazing benefits of doing push-ups.
1) Strengthen the whole body
Contrary to popular belief, push-ups aren’t just for the arms, chest, and back. In essence, push-ups are a full-body exercise that makes use of almost every muscle group in the body.
A proper push-up involves activation of the core and lower body, strengthening the legs and building lean muscle in the abdomen, and all the stabilizing muscles. This gives you great balance and also improves your oxygen efficiency.
Furthermore, while push-ups alone can help build and tone muscles all over the body, the full-body activation it entails means that it uses up a whole lot more energy compared to exercises that target only specific muscle groups, such as sit-ups and squats.
You can also modify your push-ups to suit your needs and your current fitness level. Changing hand and feet positioning, elevation, and speed can change the basic push-up drastically. Try plyometric push-ups for an extra explosive challenge.
Do enough push-ups every day, and you’ll begin to notice athletic improvement across the board. You’ll develop strength in all areas, particularly in your ability to carry your own body weight.
2) Improve your posture
Not many people pay attention to their posture. In fact, bad posture is the hallmark of the modern day. The amount of time we spend sitting in our chairs, slumped over on our computers, it’s preposterous. It has had an extremely adverse effect on posture.
When was the last time you tried to stand up straight, spine perpendicular to the ground, shoulders back, and stomach tucked in? Pretty challenging, isn’t it? While many people struggle with posture, push-ups can help straighten things out.
In fact, the proper push-up form emphasizes the importance of keeping your spine straight and your head looking forward.
The proper form is something you need to focus on to actively maintain at first, but of course, give it a little time, and it will become so integrated into your muscle memory that you’ll be standing tall even outside the gym.
Moreover, the muscle you build will make your shoulders look broader and your chest wider, making you look (and feel) more confident.
3) Burn calories and lose weight
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows you have to burn more calories than you take in. In simple terms, it means you have to increase the amount of exercise you do and decrease the amount of food you eat.
Push-ups are a great option as a calorie-burning workout because it engages the whole body. The more muscle groups used, the more calories are expended.
Moderately-paced standard push-ups burn a good amount of calories. Modified push-ups that are increasingly difficult burn even more.
Maximize the benefits of push-ups by doing them daily, as a standalone exercise, or as part of your workout routine. Most people like to incorporate them into their High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routines too. It’s an excellent idea as it’s a great workout that will give you intense afterburn, as you build and tone your muscles.
4) Increase blood circulation
As you perform push-ups, it stimulates your metabolism and in turn, improves your blood circulation. This is important because it’s the blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and other vital organs for them to operate and function. This is a key bodily function that cannot be overlooked.
Good blood circulation will allow your heart and lungs to function properly and efficiently. This will help you fight off potential diseases and illnesses. Of course, this process also burns extra calories for you, which is a bonus.
Push-ups provide amazing results, better than many similar exercises.
Research studies have also shown push-ups to effectively boost testosterone levels, greatly reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes bones to become fragile and brittle.
5) Improve knockout power and athleticism
Obviously, in the world of martial arts, push-ups play a major role in increasing knockout power and improving overall athleticism.
It can, for example, make punches sharper and more explosive in boxing, or make elbows sharper and faster in Muay Thai. Incorporating push-ups into your martial arts training routine will level up your striking power. That’s why many combat sports athletes turn to plyometric push-ups, in particular, to add that extra oomph behind their combinations.
Furthermore, push-ups help us become better athletes. This applies to, not only martial arts but other fast-paced sports as well.
In conclusion, push-ups are one of the simplest, yet most effective exercises we ought to be doing on a consistent basis. In fact, if you choose to only do one exercise daily from the comfort of your home, consider making push-up that go-to exercise to reap a world of benefits.
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