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.

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

Why Are Push-Ups a Good Exercise?

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


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

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.