How to Do Push-Ups

The push-up builds both upper-body and core strength. It has many modifications; beginners can start with easier versions, while more advanced exercisers can use a challenging variation. You can do the push-up as part of a bodyweight exercise session, a circuit training workout, or a strength workout.

How to Do a Push-Up

To do a push-up you are going to get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Don't lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent. Extend your legs back so you are balanced on your hands and toes, your feet hip-width apart. Once in this position, here is how you will do a push-up.

  1. Contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine.
  2. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself to the floor, until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Exhale while contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands, returning to the start position.
  4. Keep a tight core throughout the entire push-up. Also, keep your body in a straight line from head to toe without sagging in the middle or arching your back.

Benefits of Push-Ups

  • The abdominal muscles used to hold the body rigid during the push-up are the rectus abdominis and the internal and external obliques. As the push-up involves multiple joints, it is a compound exercise.
  • The upper body muscles that come into play in the push-up are the deltoids of the shoulders, the pectoral muscles of the chest, the triceps and biceps of the upper arm, and the gluteal or hip muscles, and the erector spinae of the back.
  • In daily life, you often need to push against objects, from doors to shopping carts. The functional fitness you develop with push-ups provides the strength needed to perform these movements. Working the stabilizer muscles around the shoulders can help protect you from rotator cuff injuries.
  • A 2019 study also found that people who can do 40 push-ups have fewer cardiovascular disease events than those who cannot complete 10 push-ups. Push-ups can be used as a measure of upper body fitness, allowing you to assess whether you need to be doing more to keep your upper body in good working condition.


Do Push-Ups Burn Fat?

Push-ups do not burn fat directly, but resistance training does burn calories which can help create a deficit needed for weight loss. As well, building muscle can increase your metabolism.5 However, you cannot spot reduce fat and push-ups will not burn fat off a particular body part.


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