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Types of Push ups and Their Benefits

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Push-up is a callisthenics exercise which is one of the most favourite exercises among men because it provides them with greater muscle mass and strength in the upper body.

Push-ups can be done by women as well; it's just that they tend to have lesser upper body strength and this exercise requires the contraction of the upper body muscles. But, today there are many women who aren't afraid of doing push-ups.

The standard push-ups work on every muscle of the body, from your neck to toes, and they strengthen the chest, shoulders, abs, lower back and triceps.

Push-ups are a great exercise to give you endurance. It also helps build your strength, stamina, burn calories, and increase mental toughness.

Types Of Push-ups

1. One-hand push-up

2. Moving jump push-up

3. Superman push-up

4. Triple clap push-up

5. Pyramid push-up

6. Flying superman push-up

7. Diamond push-up

8. Wall push-up

9. Knee push-up

10. Bench push-up

Benefits Of Push ups

1. Acts as a full body workout

Doing push-ups will not only strengthen your upper body, it also acts as a full body workout. Push-ups work on a large number of muscle groups like biceps, triceps, anterior deltoids, core muscles and lower body muscle groups. Once the muscles are activated, they support your body and make you stronger and flexible.[1]

2. Creates balance

Push-ups create balance and stability in the body which means that they improve your reaction time by training the body's proprioceptive muscle fibres which are microscopic nerves that help keep your body balanced. When you try doing a push-up, these microscopic nerves start firing constantly so that the body doesn't lose its balance. This allows to train the nerves to respond much faster to stimulation which helps the body to balance and increase speed.[2]

3. Strengthens muscles and builds muscle density

As you age, you start losing muscle density which changes the way your body utilises and burns energy. Push-up exercise is a way to improve and maintain muscle density and the muscles look dense when your body fat percentage gets around 10 per cent to 12 per cent. Muscle density gives the body a much more harder look and your muscles are also strengthened.[3]

4. Promotes heart health

Push-up is a type of strength and resistance training exercise which is very effective for overweight or obese people as they have a high risk of heart disease. Performing push-ups will help reduce their body fat and develop lean muscle mass. Push-ups will lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.[4]

5. Strengthens lower back muscles

Push-up stretches your lower back muscles by pulling in the abdominal muscles. This improves the flexibility of the lower back muscles and these muscles stabilize your body.

Push-ups also target the core muscles which include the abdominal area, waist and everything right down to the pelvis. When you do a push-up, the core muscles become strong which helps prevent lower back problems.[5]

6. Increase human growth hormone (HGH)

When you do push-ups, muscle mass is utilized to a great extent which increases the production of human growth hormone. This human growth hormone aids in growing your muscles. As a person starts ageing, the production of human growth hormone lessens. So, to gain more muscle mass try different variations of push-ups.[6]

7. Increases testosterone levels

Performing push-ups can help increase your testosterone levels according to a study.[7] Testosterone is a primary sex hormone which affects a man's masculinity and sexual development. It stimulates sperm production and helps build muscle and bone mass, physical strength and the amount of body hair.

8. Burns calories

Any strength training exercise including push-ups will help you burn calories and build muscles. The exact rate at which your calorie burns depend on your size and the vigour with which you approach the exercise. A person who weighs more will burn more calories and this will help in losing weight.

9. Prevents shoulder and back injuries

If your body isn't flexible enough, shoulder and back injuries are common. While performing push-ups, the muscles are fired up reducing the pressure on your back and shoulders, which prevents the risk of injury. It makes your body strong and more flexible which means that it helps to strengthen every vulnerable part of your body.[8]

10. Improves posture

Push-up exercises improve your posture by letting you keep your back straight throughout the exercise. The exercise activates your core muscles and helps them to become strong. The main reason behind your poor posture is poor core strength. So, the stronger the core muscles, your body will have a well-defined posture.

11. Lowers osteoporosis risk

Osteoporosis occurs when the bone density decreases and the body stops producing bone cells as it used to do earlier. This makes your bone weak and fragile. Performing resistant training like push-ups help build your bone density by making it stronger and denser which helps to lower the risk of osteoporosis.[9]

How To Do A Standard Push-up

• Get into a plank position with your hands placed firmly on the ground and keep your hips strong.

• Lower your body till your chest touches the floor and while lowering yourself bend your elbows by pulling them closer to the body in such a way that it forms a 45-degree angle.

• Press upward with your arms and go up.

• Repeat this upward-downward movement as many times according your exercise regime.

How Many Push-ups Should You Do In A Day

If you are a beginner, start with 10 push-ups and once you get hold of the exercise, move your way up to 50 - 100 push-ups a day.

Risks Of Doing Push-ups Daily

Your body will not gain the benefits of push-ups if you do them daily because your muscles have adapted and improved their function. So, try doing different types of push-ups but make sure you don't get injured in the process.

Dos And Don'ts Of Push-ups

• Change your hand placement by widening your hands and shoulders a little more for better strength and stability.

• Don't keep your head down while doing push-ups as you will feel a pull on your spine and upper back muscles. Keep your head straight and look front.

• While doing push-ups, always lower your chest not your belly and hips as this may hurt your lower back.

• Always keep your body stiff while doing push-ups.

View Article References
  1. [1] Kim, Y. S., Kim, D. Y., & Ha, M. S. (2016). Effect of the push-up exercise at different palmar width on muscle activities. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 28(2), 446-449.
  2. [2] Borreani, S., Calatayud, J., Colado, J. C., Moya-Nájera, D., Triplett, N. T., & Martin, F. (2015). Muscle activation during push-ups performed under stable and unstable conditions. Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness, 13(2), 94-98.
  3. [3] Maeo, S., Chou, T., Yamamoto, M., & Kanehisa, H. (2014). Muscular activities during sling- and ground-based push-up exercise. BMC Research Notes, 7(1), 192.
  4. [4] Kamada, M., Shiroma, E. J., Buring, J. E., Miyachi, M., & Lee, I. (2017). Strength Training and All‐Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality in Older Women: A Cohort Study. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(11), e007677.
  5. [5] Chang, W. D., Lin, H. Y., & Lai, P. T. (2015). Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27(3), 619-622.
  6. [6] Takarada, Y., Nakamura, Y., Aruga, S., Onda, T., Miyazaki, S., & Ishii, N. (2000). Rapid increase in plasma growth hormone after low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion. Journal of Applied Physiology, 88(1), 61-65.
  7. [7] Craig, B. W., Brown, R., & Everhart, J. (1989). Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 49(2), 159-169.
  8. [8] Huxel Bliven, K. C., & Anderson, B. E. (2013). Core stability training for injury prevention. Sports health, 5(6), 514-522.
  9. [9] Hinton, P. S., Nigh, P., & Thyfault, J. (2015). Effectiveness of resistance training or jumping-exercise to increase bone mineral density in men with low bone mass: A 12-month randomized, clinical trial. Bone, 79, 203-212.

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