While the mighty push-up is more universally known than almost any other exercise, it’s probably the one that’s most often overlooked. True gym rats cast it aside in favor of weighted presses and the weekend warriors seem to flock to the nautilus machines. No, this great little exercise is usually relegated to military punishment and hazing. However, if you’re looking to supplement your current routine or starting a new one, you need look no further.
Push-ups are generally known for training the chest muscles, but the ancillary benefits go much deeper. They target other upper body muscles like the triceps and anterior deltoids, and help strengthen the all-important core muscles. They also help stretch the biceps and muscles in the upper back while simultaneously raising your heart rate. By simply combining push-ups with other compound body weight movements (no weight squats, pull-ups and dips) you can piece together an at home circuit training routine that will strengthen muscles and burn fat. Imagine getting a total body workout and cardio done in a half hour or less – and right from your home. Impressive, huh?
As much as push-ups are generally overlooked, they are nearly completely ignored by women. Ironically, though, this exercise is perfect since they target most of the muscles that are exposed during the warmer months. It will help Tone the back of the arms and shoulders and create nice necklines. The circuit training I mentioned above is absolutely perfect for women, I would just advise to supplement it on off days with yoga or Pilates to stretch out. For example, do the circuit on M-W-F and Yoga on T-Th. A half hour each day and some good habits in the kitchen and you’ll be amazed how you can change your body.