One of the great ways to get back into shape and improve your overall health is strength training. For those who are just starting, the basics will often suffice, such as bodyweight exercises like push-ups or lunges.
Push-ups are a wonderful strength training exercise that helps you to work your core muscles, triceps, shoulders, and chest. At BetterMe we will help you answer the question of how many pushups you need to do in order to get your body in tip-top shape.
The primary muscle groups that are targeted by push-ups are the pectoralis muscles (chest), triceps brachii (triceps), and anterior deltoids (shoulders).
Additionally, push-ups work muscles in:
- Latissimus Dorsi. The lats are a muscle that runs from your armpit to your lower back and inserts at your pelvis as well as the middle of your spine.
- Serratus Anterior. It originates on the scapula (shoulder blades) and inserts along eight ribs.
- Coracobrachialis. It is a small muscle that sits between the biceps and triceps.
Finally, to keep your body straight during the pushup, muscles in your core are activated to maintain stability.
You can achieve regular push-ups with the following steps:
- Put your hands on the floor a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart, keep your feet together.
- It is necessary to keep your upper arms very close to your body and not to point out with elbows or arch your back.
- While keeping your body straight, slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself towards the ground.
- Bend until you get a 90-degree angle at the elbow.
- Make a pause, then push yourself into the starting position. This is one rep.
For this muscle-building exercise to get your body in tip-top shape, experts recommend doing around 60 repetitions of push-ups per week, which can be broken up either way to suit your schedule.
This translates to around three sets of 20 repetitions twice a week or four sets of 15 repetitions once per day.
There are many push-up variations that can help you increase difficulty, target specific muscles or different muscle groups.
These are the types of push-ups you can try:
The inclined push-up shifts the load from your arms and shoulders and places it on your lower body.
To do this exercise, you will need to lean against a wall or wedge yourself between two flat surfaces at an incline that allows you to keep your torso relatively straight. Your feet should remain together with toes off the ground and only your hands touching the floor.
Slowly bend at the elbows and lower yourself to the floor (with a straight body). Bend until you get a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Pause, then push yourself back up into the starting position to complete one rep.
The plank push-up is a bit more difficult than the regular push-up as it targets the muscles surrounding your core.
For this exercise, start in a regular push-up position with your feet slightly apart and arms under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels at all times.
Next, bend at your elbows and lower your body so that your chin just barely touches the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can without allowing your hips to sag towards the ground.
The T push-up is a standard push-up variation that targets different muscle groups. This exercise requires you to get on your hands and feet with your arms extended straight out in front of you while pushing off the floor with only your feet and hands. Be sure to keep your body in a straight line from head to toe at all times and bend at your elbows slowly to lower the top of your head towards the floor.
The decline push-up is more difficult than the standard push-up and will build muscle in your chest, shoulders, and arms.
It requires you to place your feet on a higher surface than your head, such as a chair or even another person. The exercise becomes more difficult when you involve higher surfaces (you will also need to lean further back than while performing a standard push-up).
Push-ups are one of the best exercises to get your body in tip-top shape because they target all major muscle groups. They are simple, convenient, and easy to do almost anywhere. With numerous variations you can make, push-ups can help get your entire body toned and looking like it's ready for summer.
For best results, do at least 60 repetitions of push-ups a week, over three to four days.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.