There is a reason why The Classic Push Up is the oldest and most basic exercise and put simply it is effective and works.
The Push Up is my favourite compound exercise of all time as it is a Full Body Workout hits all the major muscle groups and joints
My Best value for money exercise as you will not only tone and strengthen your body but burn calories too. This exercise will also help your mind through balance and coordination so will help you to move better generally.
Can one exercise really do all this?
There are lots of benefits to the Push Up and should be done everyday. It is simple and effective and can be done everyday
How To Perform A Good Push Up
Start on your Hands and Feet with your body in a good strong alignment. Legs, Hips, Head, Neck and Feet in one straight line.
Ensure your hips are lifted and in alignment. Squeeze your glutes and gently push your heels to the floor. Your core is engaged strong helping to support your back and your shoulder blades are lengthened down your spine which will create length through the neck which should be relaxed. Eyes looking down to the floor is important to stop straining the neck.
You then want to lower your body as close to the floor as possible. Then before you hit the floor squeeze through your chest and arms to push your body back to the start. Squeezing glutes and heels to the floor engaging your core will also help you up.
Then your aim is to repeat as many times as possible.
10 – 15 Reps
Always good to add press-ups into your daily exercise routine or at least a minimum of 2 to 3 times per week.
Push Up Options
There are plenty of options to the Full Push Up that you can do to develop this fantastic exercise.
Wall Push Up
Stand Feet Hip Width apart facing a flat wall. You should be around 3 feet away from the wall so that you have room to press. Reach for the wall with your palms flat at shoulder height and shoulder width apart. Lean your body towards the wall with feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes, squeeze your abdominal, shoulders are lengthened down your spine and you are looking straight. Then push into the wall squeezing your chest to push yourself back to starting position.
Box Push Up
Come down to the floor on all fours. Wrists are directly under the shoulders and knees directly under the hips. You are in alignment from head to your hips and feet are relaxed flat to the floor. Squeeze your core and lengthen your shoulder blades down your spin so you feel a little pinch together of your shoulder blades. Slowly lower your chest to the floor with the tip of your nose almost touching, this will put your hips in a heightened position. Once again press your body back starting position by squeezing through your chest.
Push Up On Your Knees
Start on all fours and then push your hips forward which will put your body into a sloped position. Core is squeezed strong to protect your back. Glutes squeeze on and feet lift into the air close to your bum. (If tired leave feet on the floor). Wrists remaining directly under the shoulders and you should feel chest is open. Neck is in alignment and you are looking straight ahead. Slowly lower chest to the floor and you should feel a rock on your knees. Then push through your chest to push your body back to the start position.
Muscles Used During Push Up
Pectoral Muscles (Chest)
These are the primary muscles group used during the push-up exercise. Strong pecs help you in throwing and pushing actions.
Triceps (Back Of The Arm)
These muscles are used for the stability of the elbow and responsible for the final extension of the elbow to lock out the press-up.
Anterior Deltoids (Front of The Shoulder)
Responsible for assisting the pectoral muscles during the push-up. Anterior or front deltoids help your arms raise in front of you.
Biceps (Front of Arm)
Part of stabilization during the push-up. Provides support for your triceps in the pressing movement.
Rectus Abdominal (Stomach)
This is the long broad muscle in front of your torso and the one we all generally want to look lean and toned. During the push-up you want to squeeze so that it hugs your ribs and engages to keep your body straight.
These muscles are at the side of your waist and they help you to bend and rotate. They activate during the push-up to stabilize and stop twisting or any rotation.
Quadriceps (Big Muscles Top of the Front of Leg)
The Quads engage to keep your body straight and your legs lifted, and toes rooted to the floor.
Erector Spinae (Back)
These are the long muscles that are lengthened down the spine. They help to keep your back straight and strong during the push-up. The work in conjunction with your Rectus Abdominal and your Obliques.
Gastrocnemius & Soleus (Calf)
Connects to your heels and your knee joint and used to flex and point your toes. Helps to stabilize the lower leg and pushes the heel to floor.
Push Up Challenge
30 Day Challenge.
Start from 1 push up and build up to 30 on the last day.
This means that every day you add another push up.
This challenge is a really good way to develop your push up over time and as it works your whole body this is such a great exercise to complete.
Push ups are an amazing exercise for your body strength and used to build endurance and power through the chest and shoulders. The abdominal are also worked in a similar way that they do during a plank exercise.
As I have shown there are different ways to start with a press-up and move on to a more difficult option.
Once you can achieve an effective press-up you can then start to add variations such as incline, decline, diamond, triceps, one arm, shoulder taps, one leg and many more.
Let me know how you get on with your push-ups. If you have any further questions leave in the comments below and I will do my best to help.