You have definitely heard of the push up, an exercise that every gym nut tells you to do because they are so great and look really manly, but did you know that the benefits of push ups are actually quite vast? We’re here to talk about the benefits of push ups and why you should start doing some on a regular basis, and it’s not just so you can get really ripped muscles, although that is definitely a bonus. Push ups work a variety of muscles in your body, help increase cardio health, stretch out your muscles, and so much more that you probably didn’t know about. If you are interested in the various benefits of push ups you should definitely give this a quick read through!
Benefit #1: It Is A Compound Exercise
If you aren’t sure what a compound exercise is, it is one where you use several muscles, or in fact several muscles groups to execute one not so simple movement. Compound exercises such as push ups are fantastic for developing muscle strength and for doing so quickly.
With a push up you can train a bunch of muscle groups at once very efficiently which eliminates the need to do various exercises for each muscle group. When people do pushups they make think that it’s only for the arms or pecs, but that simply is not true. It takes virtually every major muscle group in your body to properly execute just one single push up.
Your arms are doing the brunt of the lifting, your chest supports your arms, your core and your back is engaged so you remain stable and upright, and your legs are also being engaged to keep you straight, stable, and upright. When it comes to working out all of your muscles at once there is almost nothing better than your everyday push up.
Benefit #2: It Is Indeed A Cardiovascular Workout
You may not think of push ups as a cardiovascular workout, but that is definitely not so. This actually has to do with the fact that you are doing a compound exercise as mentioned in the previous point. When you do compound exercises you are engaging a whole lot of muscle groups at once and those muscles need blood and oxygen to keep functioning properly.
Therefore, since push ups engage so many different muscle groups, your heart has to work really hard to pump oxygenated blood throughout your whole body to keep all of those muscles going. Sure, push ups are considered a weight training exercise because you are lifting your own weight, but you are also engaging so many different muscles that your heart has no choice but to work overtime.
Of course having a healthy heart is important for various different reasons, the least of which is increased physical performance because it can more easily pump blood to your muscles. Other benefits of a healthy heart include lower blood pressure, a slower resting heart rate, the decreased chance of heart attacks, heart disease, and arterial diseases. Push ups provide you with a great way to both strengthen muscles and strengthen your heart and that is something we can all agree with.
Benefit #3: Stretching Your Biceps
You may not have really thought about this, but stretching is very important for your overall health, especially before and after exercising, but it can also be pretty effective during exercise. When you do a push up it stretches your biceps fully from one end of the spectrum to the other.
This is because you lower yourself to get as close to the ground as possible which contracts the biceps and then raise yourself until your biceps are fully extended. Many people tend to suffer injuries in their biceps, especially when engaging in weight lifting, and of course stretching is one of the number one ways to improve flexibility and prevent exercise related injuries.
So the next time you want to lift some weights you may want to do a few push ups first because they will get your blood flowing, limber up those biceps, and get them nice and loose for the hellish routine that you are about to put them through.
Benefit #4: Big Back Benefits
Something else that gets stretched out when you do a push up is your back. Like we just mentioned before, stretching is very important to increase flexibility and prevent injuries, and injuries to your back can be some of the most painful and debilitating injuries of all. Getting your back stretched out by lowering yourself to the ground in the form of a push up is a great way to prevent future injuries due to a tight back, but that isn’t all.
We also mentioned before that since push ups are a compound exercise they force you to engage your back muscles in order to keep you straight and upright. This, of course, trains your back muscles to be stronger, thus decreasing the chances of injury and also making your everyday life easier. It takes a strong back to engage in exercise, play sports, carry groceries, or even lift your kids and push ups are a great way to achieve a stronger back.
On that same note, a stronger back, plus a stronger core, also go a long way in improving your posture. Having bad posture or a back that is always slouched over can cause you a lot of pain and even cause some pretty serious back issues in the future. Stronger back and core muscles, both muscle groups which are engaged by the push up, mean that you have an easier time supporting your body and your weight.
This allows you to stay straight and upright much easier during your everyday tasks, ultimately preventing back injuries resulting from weak back and core muscles. There is also the fact that you just look much taller and much more confident when you sit or stand straight up. You will feel better about it and the ladies around you will look at you in a whole new light.
Benefit #5: They Are Free & Versatile
Something that everybody can appreciate about doing some simple push ups is that they are free to do. You literally do not need to buy a single piece of equipment to do a push up, nor do you need to buy one of those way too expensive gym memberships. They are completely free of cost and you don’t need to spend a single cent to get into shape.
Something else that is great about push ups is that they are very versatile in the sense that you can literally do them anywhere. Your bedroom, your living room, your office at work, the park, the beach, and the gym are all places you can do push ups. You can get something like a yoga mat or an exercise mat if you choose, but that is not really necessary.
Push ups are also very versatile because they save you a lot of time. Since they are compound exercises, like we mentioned before, they let you tone your body in a limited amount of time without having to do a whole bunch of different exercises that can end up being very time consuming.
There are also many push up variations to choose from to target different muscle groups of your body and to make it more challenging or easier depending on your fitness level.
Benefit #6: Stronger Shoulders
Another big benefit that you get from doing push ups on a regular basis is that it provides you with far superior shoulder strength. Now having stronger shoulders is a bonus in itself because you can lift things much easier and you look way manlier too, but that is not necessarily what we are getting at.
Stronger shoulders are actually very beneficial to you because they help to prevent injuries in old age. Your shoulders are susceptible to damage and injuries as you grow older, especially rotator cuff injuries that can leave you in a ton of pain and also completely immobilize you. Push ups are great for combatting rotator cuff injuries because they work to strengthen the muscles which support your shoulder joints.
Plus push ups also work to keep your shoulders in motion, thus making them more flexible and keeping their mobility as high as can be. If you don’t want severe shoulder pain by the time you are 50 or don’t want to throw a ball and completely throw your shoulder out of whack, you should definitely start doing a few push ups regularly.
Benefit #7: The Production Of HGH
The next benefit of doing push ups on the regular that we want to talk about has to do with your body’s creation of HGH, also known as human growth hormone. As you age the production of human growth hormone in your body takes a drastic decline for the worse, and that is definitely not a good thing.
Human growth hormone is necessary in order to support healthy body and cell growth. This is also very important for the healthy increase of muscle mass. The less human growth hormone you have in your body, the harder of a time you will have building lean muscle mass. Well, push ups, since they engage so many different muscles, go a very long way in spurring on the development and creation of human growth hormone in your body.
Therefore push ups build muscle directly by the virtue of using the muscles, and they also build muscle indirectly by helping you produce a hormone that significantly contributes to the growth and size of those same muscles.
Benefit #8: Increasing Testosterone Production
Another big benefit that you can get from doing some push ups is that they can help increase the natural production of testosterone in your body. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body and it appears in both men and women, but it is especially important for men. As with human growth hormone, the production of testosterone by the human body sharply decreases as you age.
That is a pretty big problem because men need testosterone to function right and it contributes to several different things such as physical performance, muscle mass, the production of other hormones, sex drive, hair growth, and other important bodily functions too. Exercise such as a good bout of push ups ramps up your body’s production of testosterone, thus doing a whole lot of positive stuff for your body.
Benefit #9: It Is A Weight Bearing Exercise
Another big benefit to be reaped from doing push ups on a regular basis is that it makes your bones stronger, especially so in your arms and upper body. This is due to the fact that push ups are considered to be a weight bearing exercise.
A weight bearing exercise is one in which various parts of your body are forced to hold up your own body. Not only is this good for the development of your muscles, but also for your bones. You see, bones grow and get stronger in much the same way as your muscles do.
The more weight you put on them and the more you train them, the stronger, denser, and harder they get. This is because the more you put weight on your bones, the more they are forced to produce bone cells or bone mass.
This bone mass gets produced more and more with increased amounts of weight bearing exercise and it goes a long way in drastically strengthening your bones. Strong bones are very important to prevent breakages and also in order to prevent degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis from developing in old age.
If you haven’t already tried doing some push ups, do some right now! Get on the ground and try doing at least 10, or even just 5. Trust us when we say that doing push ups on a regular basis will have you feeling and looking better in no time. The various benefits of push ups will have you healthy, fit, and energized after just a few weeks.
If you have any questions or comments about push ups we would be more than happy to address them!