The science behind the perfect push-up

The science behind the perfect push-up

The classic push-up has been widely considered one of the single most effective techniques in workouts - and for good reason. Whether you’re taking HIIT classes or yoga flows, the push-up introduces itself into nearly every strength building workout we encounter as it is a simple way to maintain and increase fitness levels without pricey gym membership tags or weight equipment. The physical, most notably the cardiovascular benefits and even mental benefits of this traditional exercise are endless. Let’s chat a little about the top tier reasons why you should be pushing yourself (literally) every day. 

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? Thankfully, daily pushups can lower that statistic. Many studies have been reported throughout the years of the cardiovascular health benefits obtained by consistent push-ups. One study by the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the association of the amount of push-ups in a single minute exercised by male firefighters aged 21-66 over a ten year period. The more push-ups an individual could complete in a minute was connected to lower blood pressure levels, lower total cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol level and lower triglycerides and glucose levels. It also showed a correlation between high VO2max levels which is the body’s ability to fortify oxygen during intense physical stress. Long story short, after ten years the firefighters who were able to complete more pushups were least likely to get heart disease. 

When you do a push-up, you’re targeting multiple muscles, not just your shoulders and arms. Chest, biceps, shoulders, back and tricep muscles all rev up and activate when done properly which then engages even more muscles down to your core, hips and legs. Push-ups are not just effective for muscle building but also joint and bone health as well. Daily push-ups overtime will not only tone and build muscle but lubricate all those joints and bones involved, too! And because you’re engaging and working your back muscles and spine, your posture will greatly improve over time - so you don’t need to walk around with a book on your head anymore. 

Most people who start out doing push-ups use their knees as a bench and then gradually, as their strength improves, they are able to ascend to the classic and more challenging variations. The diamond push-up method involves both thumbs and index fingers touching under your chest as you go up and down. After you can master that, you might be able to do the clap push-up - where you push yourself off the floor and clap your hands together before you come back down. But before you start demonstrating the clap push-up as a cool party trick, it’s important to learn how to practice the basic form of the classic push-up. 

First, adjust yourself into a plank position while keeping your arms straight and avoid locking your elbows. Your palms should be completely flat on the ground and your shoulders should be aligned with your elbows and wrists. Make sure your core is engaged nice and tight so that your belly and back do not sag down. Begin to bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle - with control. Finally, push yourself back up into plank position in the same motion and form that you started. 

We all know that almost any form of exercise is an absolute must for burning calories and losing weight and daily push-ups are a great way to slim down while speeding up your metabolism. This is because a push-up is a muscle-strength-resistance-exercise that kick-starts a molecular process in the body to burn more fat while building muscle. The release of miR-1 is released into the bloodstream during the sessions and from there, your muscles relax and fat tissue literally destroys itself! How many calories one can burn is contingent on one’s weight, height, age and gender as well as how intense and how long the duration of the push-up sessions are. 

Push-ups require determination, self-awareness and a lot of focus when they’re being executed correctly. If it challenges your body, it’s also challenging your mind. Consistent push-ups confront your pre-existing behaviors with every up and every down. When you push your body to do one more repetition, you’re also allowing your brain to adapt to mental challenges and problem solving as well as increasing concentration, creativity and communication levels. 

Now drop and give us 20.




The information contained in this post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical or professional advice. You should consult your doctor or medical professional before starting this or other fitness or nutrition programs to determine if it is right fo your unique needs.