Push-ups: The workout everyone believes they know

Published on: 23/09/2022

The push-up is one of the most ubiquitous body-weight exercises known to man. Learn how to do it properly here!

Push-ups are probably one of the three workouts that a stranger on the street would list if you asked them to. The push-up is the most well-known and hated exercise there is. Most people can only do up to 10, and the prospect of attempting 100 makes them cringe. Push-ups have is reputation for a reason—they work. It is not only very simple to do, but it also activates many of your upper body muscles. We'll briefly talk about the push-up's origins, as well as some of its advantages.

What's a Push-Up?

A push-up is an exercise starting from the prone position, moving to lift the body up and down using your arms and shoulders. The hands must be maintained in a static position as you move. The exercise activates the entire upper body, but it is most effective on the pectoral muscles (chest), triceps (behind the biceps) and deltoids (shoulders).

The History of the Push-up

While the term “push-up” is relatively new, having been coined around 1905-1910, the exercise itself has been around since ancient man learned to fight. The great emperor Constantine was said to have used an exercise similar to the push-up to toughen his troops for battle, as well as doing it himself to keep strong.

The Hindus have a variation of the push-up called the Dand, which is said to be used by wrestlers to train their strength.

The Proper Push-Up

While in a prone position, lock your hands on the ground straight down, slightly wider than your shoulder width.

Using your toes, prop your body up, forming a straight line from your neck down to your buttocks. Make sure to clench your abs!

Make sure that your body doesn't deviate much from the straight-line form that was previously established. Take a few deep breaths to mentally prepare for the exercise.

Squeeze! Your ability to get into form will increase if you clench your glutes and abs, tightening your core and buttocks. This ensures that you do the exercise optimally.

Don't look down when doing this exercise, as it's better to look forward. This practice can help  maintain posture and concentration.

Ensure that your arms are close and tight, almost sticking to your torso. Also, make sure that your forearms are as close to parallel to your body as possible. This is the proper way to do a push-up, and it's where most people get confused.

Lower your body with your arms and forearms, ensuring that your abdomen is tight and your body is straight. Do this until you are almost touching the ground.

After you are in the proper position, push yourself up with all your might! Then repeat the process. It's more efficient in terms of muscle activation to be slow when going down and fast when going up. Make sure to not do it too fast, as this lessens the activation time for your muscles. Do this properly! Five proper-form push-ups will be much better than 15 improper ones.

Benefits of Push-ups

  • Increases arm endurance
  • Improves posture
  • Easy to do anywhere, anytime
  • Stretches the entire body
  • Tightens your core
  • Protects your shoulders

The idea that pushups might help with weight loss is a common one. Push-ups do, in fact, speed up the metabolism and burn calories, but they aren't an activity for slimming down. They are designed to energize and strengthen the muscles in your body. Other forms of exercise, like jogging, cycling, and swimming, are better suited for losing weight.