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Why Are Push-Ups a Good Exercise?

Get-Fit Guy does push-ups more than any other exercise. Find out why, plus how to make push-ups work for you.

By
Ben Greenfield,
November 10, 2012

Why Are Push-Ups a Good Exercise?

I probably do push-ups more than any other exercise.

Why?

Here are 3 reasons:

  1. Full Body Workout. A standard push-up requires contraction of the muscles around the knee joints, hip joints, pelvis, and spine to maintain a straight line from your head to your feet. Combine that with activation of the muscles on the back of your arms, chest, shoulders, biceps, upper back, lower back, and legs, and you get full body workout in one simple exercise.

  2. Versatility. Push-ups can be used to not just build muscular strength, but also to improve power (e.g. a “clap” pushup) and increase muscular endurance (e.g. doing X number of push-ups in 4 minutes).

  3. Flexibility. By altering your hand and foot positions, you can change muscle recruitment patterns and joint stresses of the push-ups – making the movement harder, easier, or simply stressing different muscles.

On next week’s Get-Fit Guy podcast, I’m going to give you 15 of my favorite push-up variations, along with a video! But in the meantime, here are two ways to improve your push-ups.

If you have more questions about why push-ups are a good exercise, then ask away at the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

Push-ups photo from Shutterstock

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