Move of the Month: Push Ups

Written By Beth Funari Sims Cert. Personal Trainer Prescription Fitness

Push ups have been around forever. In fact, you probably completed your first push up as a young kid in grade school gym class.

Push ups are one of the most polarizing exercises. Some people loathe them. And believe it or not some people love them.

The people who enjoy them tend to feel that way because they’ve perfected the move over time, and have seen positive results.

Push ups are one of the most powerful exercises for building strength.  It’s an important and effective exercise for everyone from newbies to seasoned athletes.

What makes the push up so beneficial?

  • Strengthens and builds upper body. They help build optimal strength in the chest, forearms and shoulders.
  • Help prevent shoulder, and lower back injuries. These are two of the most common injuries among adults. Push ups activate the muscles surrounding the rotator cuff, as well as the torso. By strengthening and conditioning these areas you’ll decrease your chance of injury.
  • Improves your posture. So many of us sit at a computer or on our phones in a less than ideal hunched position. This takes a toll on our posture, and back muscles. When performed properly the muscles responsible for supporting posture (including the core) are strengthened.
  • You can do them anywhere. When an exercise requires zero equipment we have no excuse but to get it in! Further, body weight exercises like push ups help build lean body mass, and when you do enough of them can result in an impressive caloric burn.
  • Ability to modify. There are many different variations of push ups. Beginners can do push ups on their knees, or against a wall. Those in need of more of a challenge can perform clapping push ups, elevate their feet, use just one arm, or put a weight plate across the upper back.