The old push up is much more effective than you probably give it credit for. Let’s face it, we head to the gym, think about working out our chest, and the first place we walk to is the bench press. Maybe we will do some dumbbell flies directly after for a bit of extra work. The fact is that push ups benefits are huge, and much more important than you may have been expecting. Besides it being super impressive when you are able to do 100 push ups in a row, there are two major benefits you get from push ups, and one of them you may not have even known existed.
Strength And Muscle Gains
One of the most obvious push ups benefits is the strength gains that you will get. Perhaps not being able to lift big weights turns people off doing this challenging body weight exercise, but the fact is that you can get huge gains from it. Take a test yourself and see how many push ups you can actually do, you may be surprised how quickly you fatigue. You can build up both strength and muscle endurance, depending on how you work out. If you need to make the push ups harder, there are a few ways you can easily do this. To simply add weight to the push up, you can put a theraband around your back, as shown in the picture.
You can also simply place a plate on your back, or more specifically get a friend to do it. Push ups are not easy, and it is likely that you can’t do enough anyway. Add them to your program if you want to see some chest and shoulder development quickly. They are a great exercise to put extra stress on your chest after you do bench press.
Something that many people may not be aware of is the role of push ups to shoulder health. Shoulder problems are very common, especially for people going to the gym. Often imbalances in the muscles become present because of an imbalance in training. One of the biggest problems regarding shoulder health is scapula control. Lets take a look at what you might think is a rounded program for the upper body.
Bench Press + Seated Row
A push and a pull exercise, to ensure that you are working both aspects of your upper body and staying injury free. Not so fast. Although this is tru in most respects, if you are having shoulder problems and suffer from a winged scapula, then have a think about this. Both the bench press and the seated row use downward rotation of the scapula. So although you are both pushing and pulling, the scapula movement is the same. A large imbalance can start to become present if you are not careful. The cure? Push ups! There is a muscle called your serratus anterior muscle, that is very important to scapula control. Get it strong and activated, and you will get rid of a lot of shoulder problems associated with scapula control. The push up is one of the best exercises to work this. Check out serratus anterior exercises for a few more examples. Add push ups into your routine to ensure that you keep your shoulder nice and healthy.
As you can see push ups benefits are more than just the obvious, try them in your program and you will notice the difference.