A push up is a common bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the chest, arms, and shoulders but also engages other muscles throughout the body, particularly the core.
It is an effective exercise for building strength and endurance without special equipment, making it versatile and accessible.
Army PRT Push Ups Exercise 10
The Push up is the last exercise in preparation drill exercises. It’s a critical exercise for enhancing the strength of muscles in the chest, shoulders, arms, and trunk.
Conducted properly, it serves as a safe means to prepare for more vigorous pushing motions required in training, testing, and combat tasks.
Below, you’ll find a step-by-step breakdown of the push-up conducted at a moderate cadence.
Purpose: This exercise strengthens the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, and trunk
Starting Position: Front-leaning rest position.
- Your starting position for the push-up is what’s known as the front-leaning rest.
- Hands should be positioned directly beneath the shoulders with fingers spread.
- Keep your feet together.
- Ensure your body forms a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
- It’s important to maintain this position throughout the exercise.
- On Count 1: Bend the elbows, lowering your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
- On Count 2: Reverse the movement performed in Count one to return to the starting position.
- On Count 3: Repeat the same steps as Count one.
- On Count 4: Return to the starting position.
- The hands are directly below the shoulders with fingers spread (middle fingers point straight ahead).
- On counts 1 and 3, the upper arms stay close to the trunk, elbows pointing rearward.
- On counts 2 and 4, the elbows straighten but do not lock.
- To prevent the trunk from sagging, tighten the abdominal muscles while in the starting position and maintain this contraction throughout the exercise.
How to do a Push up for Beginners at Home
Here’s how to do a basic push-up if you are a beginner or doing this exercise at home.
- Your starting point is a high plank position.
Place your palms flat on the ground and hands shoulder-width apart with shoulders aligned directly above your wrists.
- Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels throughout the movement, engaging your core and keeping your hips in line with the rest of your body.
- Lower your body by bending and keeping your elbows close to your body for standard push-ups.
- Lower yourself until your chest touches or nearly touches the ground.
- Push your body up, extending your elbows and returning to the starting position. That’s one repetition.
- Do 5 to 10 repetitions.
Perfect Push Up Tips & Technique
How to do Push Ups
Push ups are one of the most fundamental bodyweight exercises and are very popular. The movement is simple, can be done everywhere, and is very effective because you use many muscles simultaneously.
Sounds good. The problem is that many people concentrate on quantity instead of quality when doing push-ups. To avoid this, you should focus on these four points to perfect your push-ups.
A push-up is not only a tricep, chest, and shoulder movement. Most people neglect the tension in the abdominal muscles, the hips, and the legs. Often, they have an arched back and lack body tension. To perfect your body position:
- Tilt your pelvis backward.
- Keep your butt tight.
The movement gets much more challenging with this, but it’s also more effective.
The arm position doesn’t matter in terms of perfect execution. A perfect push-up can be done with a wide or narrow grip, but placing your wrist in a nearly vertical line under your shoulder when you do the standard push-up is essential.
|Type of Push-Up||Focus||Arm Position|
|Pseudo Planche Push-Ups||Shoulder||Wrist not directly under shoulder|
|Sphinx Push-Ups||Tricep||Wrist not directly under shoulder|
|Standard Push-Ups (wide grip)||Chest||Wrist directly under shoulder|
|Standard Push-Ups (close grip)||Tricep||Wrist directly under shoulder|
The only thing you should avoid altogether is flared-out elbows because this puts a lot of stress on your shoulder, which can lead to injuries.
Range of Motion
This is quite simple; don’t cheat. Here are the guidelines:
- Go all the way up and down.
- Keep your body straight.
- Don’t decrease the range of motion by bringing your head forward or your hips down.
Shoulder Blade Movement
This is a very neglected point. To achieve the correct shoulder blade movement:
- When you are going down, your shoulder blades should come together.
- When you’re going up, your shoulder blades should move apart.
- Focus on pushing them downward instead of upward.
But remember, there’s a significant difference between the passive and active ways of doing this shoulder blade movement. If you are too weak in the shoulder girdle, your shoulder blades come together because you cannot hold your body against gravity.
You can see this, especially at the top of the movement. Always focus on the tension and active shoulder blade movement when going down. Refrain from falling into your structures.
Considering all those points and trying it on your own, you will notice it’s much more challenging. Your number of maximum repetitions may drop, but that doesn’t matter. Always focus on quality over quantity; you will be rewarded with progress and a healthy body.
Which muscles do push ups work?
Push-ups primarily target the following muscles:
- Pectoral Muscles (Chest)
- Triceps Brachii (Back of the Arm)
- Deltoids (Shoulders)
Secondary muscles that push-ups engage include:
- Core Muscles
- Gluteal Muscles
- Quadriceps (Thighs)
- Rotator Cuff
- Serratus Anterior (Underneath the Scapula)
Push-up Benefits: What Will Happen If You Start Doing Push-Ups Every Day?
What will happen if you start doing push-ups every day?
Many people are always looking for ways to get fit and healthy, trying out different exercise regimes to get in the shape they desire.
One exercise that many people choose to incorporate into their workouts is push-ups. They are such a great move that is easy yet effective.
Push-ups target many different muscles, including your arms, core, and back, which is why they are an effective exercise.
Enhance Your Cardiovascular System
- One of the amazing health benefits of push-ups is that they significantly impact our cardiovascular system because they are a compound exercise that works for multiple muscle groups.
- It means that the exercise works your heart harder because it has to pump oxygen to more areas of your body in a short time.
- This, in turn, helps improve our cardiovascular system’s health and prevents our body from storing excess fat, and it’s great for people wanting to lose weight.
- Having good posture is so important. It not only helps us to look taller and slimmer, but it also has fantastic benefits for our backs.
- It makes them more resilient to all different types of stress and strain, preventing them from suffering from injuries.
- This can help keep you mobile and reduce the risk of age-related muscle issues.
- A push-up engages many muscles, including your biceps, triceps, and abdominal, so your whole body gets a workout, and your strength is greatly improved.
- Push-ups help to stabilize your upper body in particular, and you will notice yourself being better able to do many things, including lifting, and your stamina will also be significantly enhanced.
- Another fantastic benefit of push-ups is that they easily fit into even the busiest schedules.
- It can take you minutes to perform just a few push-ups, and it only takes a small number of good-quality push-ups to get the desired results.
- Therefore, you can squeeze in a couple of push-ups anytime during your day, have a few minutes before lunch, and have a little break between meetings.
- You can drop to the floor and do a quick burst of 10 push-ups.
- Even the little workouts count, and all combine to get you closer to your goals.
Increase Muscle Tone
- With all the muscles that push-ups engage, it will help to, in time, build the muscles until, eventually, you will see some lovely definition and tone appearing all over your body.
- This will happen even faster when pairing push-ups with a healthy diet and cardio to help burn that fat so the muscle can shine through.
Promote Weight Loss
- Push-ups engage many muscles and get your heart pumping, making it a good exercise for burning a tremendous amount of fat and calories.
- Therefore, when paired with a healthy diet and when you do a good number of push-ups daily, they can help you lose a significant amount of weight.
Prevent Back Injuries
- As well as improving your posture, push-ups can benefit your back in other ways.
- One of these benefits is that it helps to strengthen your lower back area, a part of the body that is very vulnerable to injury.
- An injury in your lower back can be debilitating, making simple movements and activities such as running, lifting, and even getting out of bed difficult.
- Therefore, push-ups’ ability to strengthen our lower back significantly benefits our health.
- One of the benefits of push-ups that isn’t always first thought of is that they help to stretch out your muscles.
- This is great for preventing injuries such as muscle knots, which can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.
- It can also help to improve your flexibility, which also helps to prevent you from experiencing strains and injuries.
- The improved flexibility is also attractive, allowing you to hold yourself and your posture better.
Prevent Shoulder Injuries
- Alongside helping to protect your back from injuries, push-ups also prevent you from suffering from shoulder injuries such as the common rotator cuff injury.
- This is because push-ups strengthen and stabilize your shoulder muscles, conditioning them to cope better with more dynamic movements.
No Equipment Required
- One of the most significant benefits of push-ups is that they require absolutely no equipment. All you need is yourself and the floor.
- You can use a yoga mat to protect your hands and knees, but a carpet is sufficient; this makes push-ups something that can be done anywhere and requires no expense.
- You can do them at home, in your work office, when on holiday. You name it.
Suitable for Everyone
- Another thing that adds to the appeal of push-ups is that they are suitable for everyone, no matter how advanced or experienced they are.
- It can be easily modified, with beginners having the option of performing the exercise on their knees instead of extending their legs.
- This targets slightly fewer muscles than the more advanced version but helps allow the move to be more accessible to those who are just starting on their fitness journey.
- Then, as they improve at the move, they can go to the harder form of exercise.
- The other thing that makes push-ups so accessible is that you only need to do a few to see the results.
- Therefore, those who find the move more challenging can do one or two, perhaps a couple of times throughout the day, and still feel good about it.
- They can then keep adding one more each day until they can do lots of them in one go.
Improve Balance and Coordination
- When doing push-ups, you are engaging many different muscles simultaneously to hold your body in a stable position while also focusing on bringing your body to the ground and back up again while keeping this balance position.
- This coordination involved in push-ups helps to improve your overall ability to multitask, and you will find your hand-eye coordination to be significantly better.
- Furthermore, push-ups train fibers in our muscles responsible for proprioception and balance and help them respond more quickly in their work at keeping your body stable.
- This is what makes push-ups so good for helping to improve your balance and your body’s ability to prevent you from falling over.
Boost Muscle Density
- Muscle density alters and improves the efficiency of your body to burn and use energy.
- Pushing push-ups helps build and improve your muscle density so that all workouts you do will be more efficient and reap the maximum results possible.
- So there you have some fantastic benefits that push-ups can bring you.
- They will not only help you to get into the shape of your dreams but will also improve your overall health.
- The ideal push-up workout is about 12 to 14 four times a day.
- Pair this with a healthy diet, and I can assure you that you will see the benefits in no time.
Understanding the Push-up
- Many people think the push-up is just a beginner’s exercise, but I don’t believe this.
- Push-ups are one of the most underrated exercises out there, and they’re also one of the most frequently performed with poor technique.
- This is because many people consider it an easy exercise, and they adopt a form that allows them to achieve a rep count that they would expect from an easy exercise.
- Unfortunately, all that happens is that they do a bunch of poor-quality repetitions to get a high rep count.
Changing the Approach to Push-Ups
So, push-ups are not particularly easy when they’re done well. They’re effective for building general fitness and muscle in the upper body if you do them properly.
Here’s how you get the most out of them:
Changing your Mindset
- Instead of chasing repetition and focusing on trying to do more reps, think about how you can get the most out of what each repetition has to offer.
- Approach each repetition to squeeze as much out of it as possible because your intention will greatly influence how you approach your training.
Controlling the Negative
- Many people ignore the negatives of pursuing more repetitions. But when you do this, you skip half of the repetition.
- That negative portion of the lift is important for stimulating growth. If you want muscle, don’t cheat the negative.
Watching out for Compensations
- Things like sagging at the hips are common compensations that reduce the load on the working muscle.
- So, identify these compensations, correct them, and you can transfer more load to your upper body, which means you’ll get more out of the movement and see better gains in the long term.
Moving through the Full Range of Motion
- All things being equal, more range of motion equals more potential growth.
- Ensure your chest touches the ground and your elbows lock out on every repetition.
- You don’t have to pause, but pause reps can be useful to ensure you’re moving through a full range of motion.
|Common Mistakes in Push-Ups||Not moving through the full range of motion.|
|Skipping the negative part||Control and value the negative part of the push-up.|
|Sagging at the hips (compensations)||Keep the body locked out.|
|Not moving through the full range of motion||Ensure your chest touches the ground and your elbows lock out on each repetition.|
So, that’s going to be it. If you guys want to get the most out of your push-ups for building muscle, follow these simple principles.
Types of Push Up Exercises
Push-ups are a versatile exercise with numerous variations targeting different muscle groups and varying intensities.
Here’s a summary of the different types:
- Standard Push Up Exercise: It’s a basic form that engages the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Wide Grip Push Up Exercise: Hand placement is wider than shoulder-width, focusing on the chest muscles.
- Close Grip Push Up Exercise: Also known as Diamond Push Up, it intensifies the workout on the triceps.
- Decline Push Up Exercise: Feet are elevated, providing an intensive upper chest and shoulders workout.
- Incline Push Up Exercise: Hands are elevated, reducing difficulty and targeting the lower chest. Suitable for beginners.
- Plyometric Push Up Exercise: An advanced version where hands are lifted off the ground in an explosive motion, improving strength and power.
- Spiderman Push Up Exercise: One knee is brought up towards the elbow on the same side while lowering the body, intensifying core engagement.
- One-Arm Push Up Exercise: A highly advanced variation using only one arm, increasing intensity and focusing on one side of the body.
- Hindu Push Up Exercise: Incorporates a swooping motion and transitions between downward and upward dog positions, engaging various muscles and increasing flexibility.
- Fingertip Push Up Exercise: A challenging variation performed on fingertips, requiring significant hand strength and balance.
Questions and Answers
Below are answers to common questions on push up workouts.
How many push ups do I need to do a day?
- The number of daily push-ups will depend on your fitness level, goals, & ability.
- As a beginner, you should start with 5-10 push-ups & gradually increase.
- A reasonable target for an intermediate fitness level is 50-100 daily push-ups.
Does doing 100 push ups a day build muscle?
- Yes, doing 100 push-ups a day can help build muscle over time.
- However, ensure you be in the proper form when doing push-up exercises and incorporate other workouts to avoid muscular imbalances.
What do push-ups do?
- Push up exercises work on your chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles.
- This exercise will also engage your core; it’s a full-body workout to some extent.
- Push ups will are effective at improving your upper body strength and endurance.
Can push ups reduce belly fat?
- While push up workouts are effective at building your muscles and increasing your metabolic rate, they’re not targeted fat-loss exercises.
- You need a balanced diet and regular cardio exercise alongside your strength training to reduce belly fat.
Do push ups work the biceps?
- A push up workout will primarily target your chest, shoulders, and triceps; however, the biceps are used to a lesser degree as stabilizer muscles.
What are the Benefits of doing push ups every day?
Doing push up exercises daily will:
- Increase your upper body strength
- Enhance muscle definition
- Improve bone health
- Boost cardiovascular fitness.
Do push up workouts build muscle or tone?
- Push-up workouts can build muscle and tone your body simultaneously, although it depends on your fitness level and how you perform them.
- To build muscle, do fewer repetitions reps with higher resistance (like weighted push-ups), and to tone your body, do higher repetitions with less resistance.
How many push-ups should you do per day to gain muscle?
- To build muscle effectively and evenly, do your push up exercise workout to fatigue at three sets a day.
How many push ups a day do I need to do to see results?
Seeing results from your push up workouts will depend on many factors, such as your:
- Fitness level
- Overall lifestyle
However, the key ingredient is always consistency. Be consistent in your workout, and you will see results sooner rather than later.
How many push-ups should you do per day to lose weight?
- Weight loss is mostly influenced by diet and total calorie expenditure.
- While push-ups can contribute to calorie burn and muscle growth, a balanced diet and regular cardio are essential for weight loss.
How many push-ups should you do per day to lose belly fat?
- As mentioned previously, push-ups alone won’t significantly reduce belly fat.
- Incorporating them into a comprehensive fitness routine with cardio and a healthy diet can contribute to overall fat loss.
How many push-ups should I be able to do?
- How many push ups you can do depends on your age, gender, and fitness level.
- On average, a 30-year-old man should be able to do 11-20 push-ups at once, while a woman in the same age bracket should aim for 5-20.
How many push ups per day for a big chest?
- Building a big chest is not just about the number of push-ups but also about the intensity and variety of exercises.
- Bench presses and variations of push-ups, like wide grip and decline push-ups, will help with chest gains.
How many push ups per day for six packs?
- Push-up exercises will engage your core though it’s not a primary abdominal exercise.
- To develop an excellent six-pack, focus on workouts that target your abs, such as planks and crunches, and a good diet.
How many push-ups should you do per day to gain muscle?
- As mentioned, doing push-ups to fatigue in 3 sets a day can help build muscle; the exact number is down to your ability and fitness level.
How many push ups per day should beginners do?
- The ideal push ups a beginner should start with is between 5 and 10 and gradually increase this over time.
- Starting with modified push ups exercises (such as knee push ups or wall push-ups) can also be a good approach.