It took me a little bit of time to realize and to appreciate the very act of a "push up" and its many benefits. It wasn't until I actually started doing push ups on a regular basis that I finally understood what a total body workout it actually is. I remember doing push-ups in gym class in middle school, and the thought of actually doing one gave me anxiety. Now many decades later, I understand from years of doing them why it is so important. Here are my four reasons why to push-up:
1. Arm and back strength come from pushing your entire body up from the ground, then repeating the motion. Triceps and shoulders engage and become stronger every time. Being able to see those beautifully toned arms is motivation for me.
2. Core and abdominal muscles will strengthen as you engage them in the push up. Abs seem to always be on everyone's list of "things to acquire," and if you're a momma like me, I just want some sort of definition!
3. When doing push-ups, your chest muscles are engaged, working in motion with your back and shoulders. Don't have a barbell at home? Just do variations of push-ups.
4. Glute and quad muscles are engaged in the push up as well. Many people wouldn't guess it, but they definitely are! While doing push ups, I am constantly flexing and holding these tight. Who knew?
My take away from the push-up is this: It's a total body workout. Not only are you developing a stronger core, working on your abs, and defining your legs - your upper body is challenged and getting stronger. We can't forget those endorphins either!
Supplies: Yoga mat, coffee or low table
15 Drop Push-Ups (Start by standing, then drop down to a high plank, push up, then stand back up. This is one rep. Repeat.)
15 Lay Down Push-Ups (Start by standing, drop down to high plank, then lower all the way to the ground, bring arms out. Push up off the ground, and back to standing position. This counts as one rep. Repeat.)
15 Wide Hands Push-Up (Hands are wider than shoulders, make sure to go down as far as you can. Keep abdominal and glute muscles contracted.)
15 Decline Push-Ups (Using a low coffee table, place feet on top of table, with hands on the floor. Push up making sure to keep back as straight as possible.)
Quick video from Instagram, to show "how to" on the Lay Down Push Up and the Drop Down Push Up. Ending with the Wide Hands Push Up.
Decline Push Ups using a low coffee table to begin. The move I'm showing is advanced using weighted balls under my hands. Have fun with your push ups!