Without fail, when I use to train my fellow college students and currently those around me, every time they hear the word, “push-up”, I hear groans.
Usually I only hear the agony from women. Things like, “Push-ups are so hard, it’s all upper body strength and no fun.” “I don’t know how to do them.” “I can’t even do one…”
Don’t let these excuses hold you back from a completely amazing, full body, muscle-tightening exercise!
Sure, push-ups seems like the boring, military test exercise that everybody hates, and may even bring back bad memories of middle school P.E. class…BUT please let me convince you otherwise and change your mindset about them.
Why? Because if you don’t master them, you will be missing out on some serious strength and awesome feelings of accomplishment.
Ok, let’s first go over WHY push-ups are so magnificent—and why the heck I’m praising them so much.
By the end of this article, you should be in love with them as much as I am…
1. Push-ups build upper-body strength without equipment.
As women, generally, we tend to neglect working our upper bodies. It’s all about the legs and the abs, right? Wrong.
In order to achieve a balanced, strong body, you need to work your upper body, and not just once per month.
Having defined shoulders, arms, chest, and back will help build your feminine physique, and will not make you look like a female version of Johnny Bravo.
2. Push-ups also work your core and balance.
You are not just working your upper body with push-ups. Yes, you are focusing on your upper body, but you are also engaging your core muscles, your quadriceps, and calf muscles.
All these muscles intertwine and help you build stability and balance, which helps build a more functional body.
3. You can do them anywhere!
Push-ups require no equipment.
You don’t need to lift anything besides your own body weight for a push-up. This makes it better for defined muscles and doesn’t make you worry about getting bulky- which (by the way) wouldn’t happen anyway if you were lifting weights.
You can easily a achieve a good, full body workout by doing a few sets of different variations of push-ups.
4. Push-ups are empowering!
Once you are able to do at least 10 perfect push-ups it can feel empowering. Or even 1 to 2 if you’ve never been able to perform them.
There’s something about mastering the push-up that makes you feel strong, capable, and able to conquer your workout.
Having the foundation of a functional, full body exercise will help you to continue building strong muscles and confidence.
And let me tell you…those women that I’ve helped who hated push-ups, the ones that were consistent in practicing ended up loving them, just like me.
Now let’s learn how to do a push-up correctly.
It may seem easy, but there a few key points to remember and people get a little confused on the right form.
Here are the directions for a standard push-up:
- Begin with hands shoulder-width apart, chin tucked down so neck is in line with the spine.
- Keep pelvis in a neutral position, tightening your core, back is straight, not curved down or up too high.
- As you lower down, remember to keep your core tightened and your pelvis neutral. Lower down and touch the floor with your chest.
- Use your core muscles to help you lift yourself up to starting position.
There are many variations of a push-up including starting on your knees, hands on a bench, or hands on the wall for beginners.
For advance levels you can challenge yourself by placing your feet on the ball and hands on floor, put your hands on a medicine ball, or hands on the stability ball.
The more you practice, the better you will get and the easier they will become.