It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
Push-ups are the fundamental go-to exercise for trainers, military instructors and exercise enthusiasts without access to a gym. The exercise is a proven way to build up one’s upper body strength and endurance. Even though people often think of it affecting primarily the pectorals (chest), it’s also a great workout for triceps (back of the upper arm) and anterior & medial deltoids (shoulders).
When performing the exercise, a person lifts about 75% of their body weight. When performing a modified push-up, one still lifts about 60% of their weight.
But why bother with push-ups? What are the advantages to upper body strength and endurance? The push-up engages many muscles throughout the body (beyond just chest, triceps and shoulders). This exercise works a person’s “core,” and makes for an excellent indicator of one’s overall fitness level. Still think push-ups are just for swimmers, climbers, baseball players, and other athletes? Upper body strength is essential for dozens of day-to-day tasks like picking up and holding children or carrying moving boxes or luggage. Without a certain level of strength and endurance, a person’s upper body would be prone to injury.