Your chest is one of your biggest and most defining muscles in your whole body. A lot of people think that the only way to get a big chest is to use free weights or big machines. Well, that might be partially true, but it’s not true in it’s entirety. Body weight exercises are extremely beneficial and are often overlooked by most. Push-ups for example, work four of your main muscle groups: your deltoids, your pectorals, your triceps, and even your abdominals. Not to mention body weight exercises also work your stabilizer muscles, which are small muscles that help you balance.
Another benefit of the pushups and just bodyweight exercises in general, is that you won’t need a spotter and repping out is something you can do without the risk of injury. Before I advise you to go start doing push-ups on your own now, let’s review and make sure you know what a proper push-up is as well as proper push-up form.
When beginning a push up, you most commonly start on your knees and to begin, place your hands on the ground in front of you about shoulder width apart. Your hands should be placed so that you can tuck your thumbs in your armpits if you were to lay flat. Please keep in mind that the ground under your hands should be dirt free, because even a small pebble can become a major distraction after you start doing your reps.
Next is your feet placement. Begin by extending them behind you while keeping your hands firmly planted on the ground. One technique is to position your feet up against a wall or a stationary object, so that it can give you more balance while performing your push-ups.
From here, you’re going to want to lift up by locking out your legs and pulling your abdominal muscles tight so that your elbows are fully extended just like your knees. The biggest mistake that people make, especially when they get tired, is that they let their midsection slouch, hunch, arch or bend. You want your back to be straight, so that if if you were to place a board or an upside down table on your back you would have as much surface area on your body touching it as possible.
At this point, you guessed it, bend your arms and slowly let your weight down until your chin is just off the ground. Keep in mind that your neck, back, shoulders, butt, and ankles should all be in a straight line. Don’t strain your neck to reach forward and touch the ground before the rest of your body is lowered down with it.
Depending on your strength and total body weight, you may be able to do 50, or you might only be able to do one. Either way, do as many as you can and then take a short rest of around 60 seconds. After 60 seconds, repeat that process a minimum of two more times.
Remember, the push-up exercise is made to develop strength, meaning the more times you do them, the stronger you will get and the more you will be able to do at one time. Not only will you get stronger, but your technique should improve as well. The number one rule is to never give up, continue to do push-ups every day in the morning the afternoon and an evening if possible.
Following that plan should produce results fairly quickly and with every passing day you should see that you’re able to crank out more and more push-ups without having to stop and take your short break. Just remember to stay consistent with your push-ups!
The only problem that you should ever have with push-ups is that you’re not performing them consistently enough. In life, people get busy and it’s very easy to get away from sticking to a routine, but if you want your results bad enough, you’re going to be constantly thinking about it and remembering that you need to do your push-ups. Muscle pain is great, but joint pain is bad! Be sure to keep that in mind and remember if you feel the burn, that’s a good thing!