A push up, commonly referred to as a press-up in British English, is a very effective exercise for numerous body parts. It is performed by lowering the body to the floor and bringing it back to the initial position while staying on all fours and keeping your legs straight and together.
However, there are many variations of this exercise, depending on the purpose behind it and the muscles you desire to involve in it. The lines below describe the most common forms of push ups.
Push-ups for a Stronger Body
In their most frequently practiced form, push-ups involve the deltoids, the serratus anterior, the coracobrachialis and the midsection at the same time.
For such reasons and the effects that push-ups deliver, these exercises are one of the most commonly used in physical education of both civilians and military personnel. In fact, during the military training course, push-ups are commonly introduced as a form of punishment for misconduct and misbehavior. In time, many sport training plans have incorporated this practice, using push-ups as a positive reinforcement and a form of punishment at the same time.
As far as types of push-ups are concerned, there are , so-called, full push-ups, involving both the legs and the back being straight and completely off the floor, the palms being flat on the floor and in the shoulders width.
On the other hand, in order to engage some muscle groups more, some people perform “diamond push-ups”, by bringing the thumbs and the index fingers of both of their hands together, forming a diamond sign below their chest area, pointing the elbows towards the knees instead of pointing them out on the sides, as it is the case with regular, full push-ups.
Furthermore, some individuals practice push-ups while resting their hands on uneven surfaces, focusing on strengthening their core muscles. Also, when the emphasis is to be faced on the upper and the lower pectorals, the legs or feet are elevated respectively.
Also, some people take push-ups to the next level, holding a push-up bar or a dumbbell and raising it with one hand after each repetition.
Interestingly, regardless of the type of the push-up exercise you indulge into, there is a high likelihood that you are raising at least 65% of your total body weight each time you ascend.
However, the variety of push-ups does not end here. Among the most difficult types of this exercise are planche push-ups. This form involves lifting your entire body weight by moving your total balance towards the chest and the upper body, making your feet leave the surface once you ascend. Of course, only skilled and experienced athletes can perform this advanced exercise safely and successfully.
Boxers, during their trainings, usually perform boxer push-ups, doing them while resting on their knuckles rather than on their palms. Other martial arts tend to use this form of push-ups too, boosting the strength of one's fists and hands, strengthening the bones and the knuckles at the same time.
People who are into gymnastics tend to opt for the Maltese push-ups, keeping their hands lowered to the hip area, holding them wide apart during the performance of push-ups.
A special variation of push-ups are the Indian or Hindu push-ups, performed from a standing position with the arms close to the body and the legs forming an upside-down “V”. Then, from this position the hands are lowered to the feet and the back is bent in order to perform a swoop into the “cobra pose”, being well known in the world of yoga. This form of push-ups is also known as Dive Bomber push-ups.
Additionally, some people do their push-ups with the back of their hands, while others do them while standing elevated upside-down, against a wall or supporting themselves with their knees rather than their toes.
Either way, push-ups are an excellent form of exercise, suitable for boosting your muscular strength and endurance, promoting health and physical fitness.
Physical Fitness is Good for the Body
Exercising results in contractile proteins from the muscles being consumed for energy, fat and carbohydrates being burnt for the same purpose and the connective tissues being stretched and strengthened. However, if exercising is not backed up with a proper diet and organization, injuries can appear.
Therefore, resting, eating the right food and keeping exercising within your physical limits are all factors which are necessary for getting the best out of the whole process.
Exercising in the right manner boosts one's muscle strength and endurance, his/her cardiovascular health and blood circulation, along with the oxygen delivery to the body. This prevents many illnesses such as obesity, diabetes type 2, heart disease etc. Moreover, indulging into proper physical exercising will keep your brain in an excellent state, boosting your cognitive functions.
All in all, there are many benefits related to regular and proper exercising, provided you allow your body to get all the nutrients it needs and all the rest it deserves after performing the exercises safely and moderately. Taking into consideration the wide variety of physical and mental benefits related to push-ups, you can start by choosing the variant which you find most suitable and introducing this excellent form of physical activity into your daily routine.