Learning To Love The Push-Up

There are few exercises that inspire more dread than the push-up. We’ve been conditioned to see it as a punishment, as in “drop and give me twenty!” Remember Bill Murray doing push-ups in Stripes? Push-ups haven't developed this reputation for nothing; they are difficult.

Keeping You Strong

But they’re also very, very good for you. Going back to the Stripes example, or Private Benjamin, and just about any military movie you’ve ever seen, push-ups may be used as punishment in comedy flicks, but they play a vital part in building a strong core; in turn helping you get the kind of body shape you want, regardless of your gender. 

For starters, they build strength in the arms, chest, legs, and core – a great full-body workout. Push-ups can also build your body’s cardiovascular and muscular endurance, especially if you do a few more increasingly each week.

Ever notice that when older people want to show off what great shape they’re in, they do push-ups? For example, eighty year-old former Vice Chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz beat Stephen Colbert in a push-up contest on The Colbert Report. That’s because push-ups hold off the natural progression of nerve-death and weakening muscles that come with age. The average person will lose more than 30 percent of their strength between the ages of twenty and seventy–unless they do something about it. Push-ups won’t keep you from growing old, but they can keep you feeling old, as well as make you look younger.

Body Of Steel

They also make your body more durable, and consequently less likely to become seriously damaged if you accidentally run into something or take a fall. Specifically, they increase the strength of your arms and wrists, so that when the unfortunate spill happens, your body is up to the challenge of absorbing the shock.

One of the best things about the push-up is that it’s completely self-contained. All you need to do one is yourself, and it can be done anywhere, anytime. This is especially helpful if you’re on the road, or can’t otherwise get to a gym or go for a run.

By now, you should be out of excuses; work some push-ups into your day!

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