What’s up fitness fans, today we’re talking about one of the simplest and most popular exercises in existence – the push-up.
Specifically, we’re going to be looking at the many benefits of push-ups and what it is that makes this exercise so effective.
When people are looking to improve their physiques, they’ll usually hit the gym and start performing a series of different exercises designed to target different parts of the human anatomy.
For people looking to work their chests, for example, exercises such as bench press and cable crossover all work very well.
Another exercise that is often considered an afterthought when training the chest, due to the fact that it doesn’t involve any weights, machines, or equipment, is the humble push-up.
Push-ups are simple plyometric exercises that utilize nothing but your own body weight for resistance, but don’t let that fool you, because push-ups are amongst the toughest and most effective exercises in existence today.
- 1 What Are Push-ups?
- 2 History Of Push-ups:
- 3 So, What Are The Many Benefits Of Push-Ups?
- 3.1 Benefit #1: Burn Fat
- 3.2 Benefit #2: Tone Your Muscles
- 3.3 Benefit #3: Great Compound Exercise
- 3.4 Benefit #4: Easy To Master
- 3.5 Benefit #5: Great For Everybody
- 3.6 Benefit #6: Make As Easy Or As Hard As You’d Like
- 3.7 Benefit #7: Different Variations To Choose From
- 3.8 Benefit #8: Push-ups Are Free
- 3.9 Benefit #9: Can Be Done Anywhere
- 3.10 Benefit #10: Save Time
- 3.11 Benefit #11: Improve Your Functional Strength
- 3.12 Benefit #12: Great Chest Finisher
- 3.13 Benefit #13: Improved Cardiovascular Health
- 3.14 Benefit #14: Improved Mental Health
- 3.15 Benefit #15: Increased Strength
- 3.16 Benefit #16: Build A Bigger Chest
- 4 Final Thoughts:
What Are Push-ups?
It’s easy to sit here and talk about what great chest exercise push-ups are, but what precisely are push-ups?
Push-ups are considered one of the best calisthenics exercises in existence, particularly when it comes to chest and triceps development.
Push-ups are great because they’re easy to perform and can be adapted for people of all abilities.
As they work the pectoral muscles, the core, the triceps, and the deltoids, they’re also considered to be one of the most efficient compound exercises in existence, despite the fact that they don’t even require a single weight to be used.
There’s more to it than this, but basically, push-ups require individuals to raise and lower the body from a prone position multiple times.
History Of Push-ups:
Now that we know the basics of what push-ups are, let us now take a look at a brief history of what many consider to be one of the best calisthenics exercises ever invented.
Now, if we’re talking about the push-up that we know and love today, then the general consensus is that an Indian man named Jerick Revilla developed an exercise very similar to the one we perform today, which was known as a Hindu Push-up, back in 1904.
Revilla was a physical specimen and was also a wrestler known as the Great Gama.
The Great Gama was a formidable competitor and was also undefeated in over 5,000 wrestling matches. Legend tells that the Great Gama would perform 4,000 Hindu squats and 4,000 Hindu push-ups every single day.
It turns out, however, that exercises very similar to push-ups were performed much, much earlier than 1904, and you can probably guess who used to perform them.
Yes, they were performed by the Ancient Romans who were big believers in calisthenics when preparing for battle.
The ancient Romans used calisthenics as their primary source of training for their soldiers, and after Rome conquered Sparta along with the rest of Greece, Sparta became a part of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Spartan soldiers were considered fearsome warriors, and as calisthenics played such a key role in their training, it’s safe to assume that they did their fair share of push-ups in their time.
As the years have gone by, push-ups have been altered and adapted somewhat, but one thing that is for certain is the fact that push-ups are considered by many, to be one of the most effective chest exercises ever created.
So, What Are The Many Benefits Of Push-Ups?
Benefit #1: Burn Fat
The first benefit of push-ups that we’re going to be looking at in today’s article is the fact that push-ups help you to burn fat.
Obesity levels are currently higher than ever before and countless people all over the globe constantly struggle with their weight on a near-daily basis.
There are plenty of ways of losing weight, though experts all agree on the fact that exercise should play a vital role.
Push-ups are very physically demanding, which means that to perform them, you need to burn calories in order to provide your body with the energy it needs to function and perform the exercise.
Push-ups are therefore a great way to burn calories and promote weight loss.
Benefit #2: Tone Your Muscles
Push-ups are a compound exercise, and as a result, multiple muscle groups will benefit if you perform them.
Primarily, push-ups target your pectoral muscles, AKA your chest, though in reality they also work for different muscle groups as well.
The great thing about push-ups is that, as you perform them, you’re stimulating muscle fibers and tissues, whilst burning fat.
That means that performing push-ups will help you to tone your muscles, leaving you with a leaner, more ripped, and defined look.
Benefit #3: Great Compound Exercise
Another of the benefits that we’re looking at today is one that we briefly touched upon a little earlier.
Push-ups are an awesome compound exercise, but what exactly does that mean?
Well, a compound exercise is one that targets several muscle groups in your anatomy all at the same time.
This means that one exercise will work multiple muscles.
Push-ups are a prime example of this as they target the pectoral muscles, your core, your delts, your traps, and your triceps, exactly when doing dips exercise.
That means that one exercise will work several muscles, helping to give you a much more even and well-rounded physique.
Benefit #4: Easy To Master
There are some exercises that are extremely difficult to master in terms of form, but thankfully, push-ups are not one of them.
Push-ups are very easy to perform which means that anybody can master them in a short duration of time without having to spend hours reading up and studying YouTube videos of how to do them correctly.
Push-ups are often taught to young children as a simple and effective exercise to master from a young age, which means that there’s not a great deal of learning involved.
Benefit #5: Great For Everybody
Another awesome benefit that we simply must talk about is the fact that push-ups are so great for everybody.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a senior citizen recovering from an injury, a bodybuilder, or a professional athlete, push-ups are ideal for everybody.
Providing you can lift and support your own body weight, you can perform push-ups.
If not, there are different techniques you can incorporate to make them slightly easier.
Benefit #6: Make As Easy Or As Hard As You’d Like
Okay, if you’re a very strong individual who doesn’t weigh too much, you’ll almost certainly find push-ups very easy.
But, does that mean that in order to feel the benefit, stimulate the muscles, and get a pump, you need to perform countless reps until you lose count?
No, it simply means that you can adapt.
If push-ups are too easy, to make them harder you could perform them with chairs or benches from an elevated position.
This will allow for greater depth on the way down, which will result in a greater stretch and more muscle fibers being stimulated.
If they’re too hard, you can do them from your knees instead, or even do half reps.
Benefit #7: Different Variations To Choose From
Another benefit of doing push-ups that we need to consider include the fact that there are so many different variations of push-ups to choose from.
You can do regular push-ups, or if you want to target the triceps you can bring your hands closer together and go with a narrow stance.
This will help isolate the triceps more, as opposed to the pecs.
You can also perform push-ups from an elevated position, you can try clapping push-ups, or if you’re really strong and capable and want to fish for likes on Instagram, you could try one-handed push-ups.
Benefit #8: Push-ups Are Free
In this world, it’s rare that you get anything for free, yet with push-ups, that’s exactly what you get.
Push-ups are free to perform, which means that they don’t cost you a thing.
There’s no need to purchase any equipment or accessories, there’s no need to purchase a gym membership, and you don’t need fancy gym gear either.
You can do push-ups anywhere with a relatively small amount of open space and have yourself one heck of a workout.
Benefit #9: Can Be Done Anywhere
On the subject of push-ups being free because they can be performed anywhere, please do not underestimate the importance of exercises that can be done anywhere.
Push-ups are ideal because they fit these criteria perfectly.
You can do push-ups anywhere, at any given time, making them very useful indeed.
As we mentioned earlier, push-ups require no kit or equipment and are very easy to perform.
This means that you can do them anywhere at home, in the garden, at the gym, in the workplace, at your local park, or anywhere else for that matter.
Benefit #10: Save Time
Push-ups are also very beneficial because you can do them quickly when you’re in a rush.
If you wanted to quickly train chest at a gym using weights and machines, you’d have to mess around adjusting the bench, loading and unloading plates, struggling with clips, and ensuring that you have enough time to recover between sets.
This might not sound like much, but when you’re in a rush it seems like an eternity.
With push-ups, you simply drop to the floor wherever you are, and away you go.
Push-ups can be done much quicker than other chest exercises, making them perfect for people that are trying to save time, or who just simply happen to be in a rush.
Benefit #11: Improve Your Functional Strength
When discussing the benefits, you can’t mention push-ups without talking about the fact that they improve functional strength.
Functional strength is a term used to describe strength that will help you become more functional in everyday life, rather than just in the gym.
To perform this exercise, you will recruit virtually every muscle group in your body to a certain degree, and the end result is a much greater amount of functional strength that will carry over into everyday life.
Benefit #12: Great Chest Finisher
Imagine you’re looking to build a chest that would rival a prime Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Okay, that’s perhaps a little too ambitious, but imagine you’re looking to drastically improve the size and appearance of your pectoral muscles.
Your chest day would almost certainly consist of exercises such as the bench press, cable flyes, cable crossovers, chest presses, and other exercises you see bodybuilders in gyms all over the globe performing when they’re training their chests.
To finish off, why not completely destroy your chest (in a good way, of course) with push-ups?
Push-ups make for an awesome finisher exercise as you can really force blood into the muscles and really help rip and tear those last remaining muscle fibers, which will result in greater levels of muscle hypertrophy.
Benefit #13: Improved Cardiovascular Health
Despite being a form of resistance exercise, another of the benefits that we need to talk about today, is the fact that they’re so great for boosting cardiovascular health.
The heart is one of the most vital organs in the human body, and the cardiovascular system is one of the most complex and important systems in the body.
Heart disease is currently the world’s biggest killer as it claims more lives each year than any other disease.
This means that looking after your heart is vital.
Push-ups are a very beneficial exercise for people looking to improve their cardiovascular health and strengthen the heart, which in turn will reduce their risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and other related issues.
Benefit #14: Improved Mental Health
This isn’t a benefit exclusive to push-ups, but rather with exercise in general.
As push-ups are such an effective and common exercise, however, we’re including them here anyway.
Mental health issues will affect around 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives, and for some people, mental health is something that can make life unbearable.
Far too many people suffer in silence, but the good news is that there are things we can do to improve our mental health and exercise is ideal.
Exercise results in the production of endorphins which help to lift your spirits and leave you feeling happier, relaxed, confident, and more content in life.
Even if you don’t suffer from poor mental health and simply want to feel better and improve your mood, push-ups and exercise, in general, will help you to do precisely that.
Benefit #15: Increased Strength
People often think that the only way to get big and strong is to lift heavy weights and train like a powerlifter.
Okay, if you’re looking to break a powerlifting world record, we wouldn’t recommend that you base 99% of your training around push-ups, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t beneficial.
Push-ups help to improve functional strength and can facilitate muscle growth.
Combine this together, and you have the ultimate recipe for great all-around strength and power.
Benefit #16: Build A Bigger Chest
Even though we’ve mentioned how push-ups can train and work the chest on multiple occasions, we haven’t actually looked at this in much detail.
Virtually all bodybuilders will perform push-ups as part of their chest training programs, due to the fact that push-ups are so ideal for working the chest.
Push-ups are great for adding mass and thickness to the pectoral muscles, and furthermore, by adjusting your stance and arm placement slightly, you can target different parts of the chest.
So, that brings today’s look at the brilliant benefits of push-ups to a close.
We hope that you’ve found the benefits listed above exciting and engaging, and if so, we hope that this has inspired you to do more push-ups as part of your training regime, whatever your goals and targets may be.