If you want to be strong and fit, make the push-up a part of your regular fitness regimen. It’s the ultimate barometer of fitness—and you can do it anywhere.
The Importance of Push-Ups
A push-up is a compound exercise, meaning it requires more than one muscle group to perform the movement. In fact, some people even insist that the push-up is a near-perfect exercise. Push-ups work the entire upper body, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and abdominals—but nearly every muscle in the body has to participate in a proper push-up. During a push-up, you’ll use your latissimus dorsi (Lats), trapezius (traps), and abdominal muscles to stabilize your pushing muscles and your lower back, legs, and glutes to maintain a perfect plank position and keep your hips from sagging.
Push-ups are a functional exercise—they require us to use several different muscle groups and to lift our own body weight. What’s more—they teach your muscles to work in harmony with each other.
So, why is this effective and simple (but not easy!) exercise so overlooked? Because it’s challenging!
Push-ups are taxing. They test the whole body. It takes strength and endurance to do them. But the effort will pay off. If you struggle to do even one push-up, it’s time to start practicing. The best way to perfect the push-up is to practice, practice, practice—and make it a daily habit. Push-ups don’t require anything more than a floor, so you can do them anywhere. That means there is no excuse to skip them!
Ready to drop and give us 10? Here’s how:
Push-up: Lie on your belly with your hands beneath your shoulders. Press into your palms and straighten your arms. Keep your head, neck, back, and hips in line as you lift yourself to a plank position. Now slowly lower almost all the way to the floor—and push back up.
Make it Easier
If a full push-up is too challenging, work up to it with these modifications:
Make it Harder
Looking for a challenge? There are a several push-up variations that can help you take things to the next level: