It's not every day I get to write about an exercise that doesn't even need a description! We've all seen them before, we've all had to do them at one point or another, and most people HATE them with a passion. Today, we're talking about push ups! Ahhhh yes the simple push up, one of my absolute favourite exercises to perform, teach, and even watch and when performed with correct form the push up works almost every single muscle in the upper body! If you had no equipment what so ever, and needed to get an amazing workout, and for some strange reason you could only choose one exercise to accomplish this, than it just might be a push up variation you would choose. So let's dive in a little deeper and find out why!
1. No Equipment Needed: To perform just about any variation of the push up all you need is you and a space large enough to lay face down. That's about it, and it really doesn't get any more basic than that!
2. Easily Adjusted To Any Fitness Level: No matter your age, sex, location, fitness level, or goal there's a push up variation to suit your needs! Most people starting a new fitness program lack the upper body strength and abdominal stability to perform full push ups. Luck for them, the push up can be easily adjusted though a number of ways such as performing push ups from their knees, or with their shins on a BOSU ball. The same goes for those who no longer find regular push ups challenging, there are countless variations (Hindu push ups, plyo push ups etc.) to challenge you for the rest of your life, a few of which I've outlined in my ebook "The Body Weight Solution".
3. Can Hit Every Muscle In The Body: I know what you're thinking, how can a push up hit your legs? Well it's simple! There's a few push up variations that I teach regularly that integrate your legs, giving you a total body workout. For example, the 6 point burpee could be counted as a push up variation and we all know that burpees really work your legs! Or how about the push up detailed in the video attached to this blog! As for the upper body, the basic push up works the chest, shoulders, and triceps as well as challenging your abdominal muscles, core, and lats! That's just the basic push up, other variations hit more muscles or put a greater emphasis on certain muscle groups.
4. Can Be Used To Achieve Any Goal: If your goal is fat loss, there's a push up for that. If your goal is to gain strength, there's a push up for that! Hmmm, I feel like I'm talking about the push up as if it's an app for your iPhone. That aside, it's very true that there will always be a push up that will challenge you enough to place into a strength routine, and there's always a push up you can perform for much higher reps to place into a fat loss/conditioning routine.
... As simple as the push up may look, it's still very important to learn how to perform it with proper technique. Find a trainer with an extensive knowledge in body weight training, so they can teach you how to align your joints, use the correct muscles, and correct your form on every push up variation. Learn how to perform the push up, practice it often, use it often, and progress as you become stronger, it will be a technique that serves you for life!
Repeat 7-10 times
15 - 20 Bear Squat/Dive Bomb Push Ups