Push-ups are a fundamental exercise that work the entire body. For functional purposes, the push-up is a movement where a person has to force the momentum of their body by “pressing” or pushing against the ground or any platform for assistance. Doing push-ups daily will also your strengthen cardiovascular system. This is very important! As of 2015 the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is cardiovascular disease. Since the body is working so many muscles at once while doing a push up, it causes the heart to work harder to deliver oxygenated blood to muscle tissue. This results in an overall improved cardiovascular function.
Push-ups target the chest, biceps, triceps, deltoids, and core. The reason why I consider push-ups a fundamental exercise is because it is a basic movement that can be modified for anybody. The goal for anyone doing a push-up is ultimately to be able to support their own body weight while shifting it’s momentum. This exercise is also the best introduction to weight lifting. A person should be able to support the movement of their own body weight before moving any additional weight.
To properly do a basic push-up you first want to make sure your hands are placed right outside your chest. Your back should be flat at all times. When you go down your chest should touch the ground and elbow joints should be bent at 90º degrees. In a regular push-up position the legs are fully extended. This can be modified by doing the push-ups on your knees, which will take some pressure off of the upper body. Push-ups can also be modified to relieve the stress level on the upper body by doing the movement at an inclined angle. So try doing them against a wall or a bench for more assistance. There are no excuses so get it done! Set weekly goals and challenges to improve your push-up ability. With consistency you are guaranteed to see improvement in your strength!