Getting your daily exercise in can be difficult and challenging at times. It is mostly about finding the time to get in the exercise without sacrificing other things in our lives, but there is also the challenge of doing appropriate exercise or activities for your body.
If you are doing all your workouts at home, you will likely try the bare bones, basic kind of workouts that are very effective if you don’t have access to other facilities.
One of these exercises is the humble push-up, which is a great and quick way to work out several groups of muscles.
However, as with every form of exercise, there are benefits to doing push-ups daily and there are risks to doing push-ups daily. So, what are they? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
What Is A Regular Push-Up?
The push-up is one of the simplest and most basic exercises that you can do. It consists of a person with their palms and toes in contact with the floor and their body raised off the ground.
The body is straight in a line position, while the feet are pressed together and the hands are about shoulder-width apart.
The person then lowers their body towards the floor without touching it, before raising it back up to the raised position.
There are a few variations of the push-up that can increase or decrease the difficulty or add a range of other benefits and risks, depending on the variation.
However, this variation is the most common full-body push-up and probably the easiest to master.
Generally, the main areas a regular push-up will work out are the upper body muscles – shoulders, chest, and arms – but if done intensely then you can work out the back muscles as well, and the changes in the variation of push-ups change what muscles will be worked out at a given time.
Benefits Of Doing Daily Push-Ups
There are actually quite a few benefits to incorporating push-ups into your everyday routine, especially if you don’t have time for longer, more well-rounded workouts.
While there are a few benefits, the main ones are as follows:
Working Out A Lot Of The Body
A set of push-ups works out quite a few muscles in the body, with some experts contending that it constitutes a full-body workout, however, this is debated. What is not debated is the vast array of muscles that push-ups exercise.
We are talking about the pectoralis major and minor muscles (chest), the triceps (back of the arms), the deltoids (shoulders), and your core muscles (mainly abdominal), as well.
To do a push-up, just a single push-up, you need to use your core muscles effectively, as well as your other muscles to hold your body steady.
If you routinely do push-ups, you have to maintain this stability for long periods of time. Therefore, your body becomes used to engaging your muscles to stabilize what you are doing, whether that be actively balancing or just walking.
Improves Your Heart’s Health
While primarily a muscle workout, push-ups actually do engage a lot of the body’s cardiovascular system, making them a cardio workout as well.
This is because the constant motion means your heart has to work harder and pump blood quicker. This also forces the blood vessels to open up. Over time, this will improve your heart’s overall health.
Improves Posture And Flexibility
Through push-ups, you are using a lot of the muscles that dictate how flexible you are and how good your posture is. These muscles tend to be neglected because our modern lives are so sedentary.
A small set of push-ups each day will improve both of these in the long run.
You need nothing to do a push-up other than your own body which is what makes them a great choice! No weights, no cables, no machines, just you, your arms and legs, and the ground.
Even if it takes you a long time to do a push-up, we reckon you could probably manage a couple in the space of 5 minutes.
Considering that you only need to get to the point of being able to do a set of 10 to 15 a day, this means that it is totally manageable to do this set in about 10 to 20 minutes.
Once you are able to do them easily, keep trying to do more and more in this 5 to 10 minute timeframe. This makes push-ups an incredible and easy, but good workout.
Risks Of Doing Daily Push-Ups
Even with all these benefits of incorporating a set of push-ups into your daily routine, there are still some risks involved in doing push-ups every day.
We will say a lot of these risks can be mitigated or avoided by being aware of how much your body can do and by scheduling in at least one or two rest days a week.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the risks:
As we mentioned above, the real risk of push-ups is overexertion, and really it’s more of a cumulative problem, rather than solely coming from the push-up.
Push-ups work out a lot of your body’s muscles and when combined with other activities, you may be pushing your body past its limits.
If you only do push-ups each day or do push-ups with one or two other intensive activities, then you should be okay. But if you are doing intense workouts each day, followed by push-ups, then you may risk overexerting yourself.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you risk plateauing. This is when you no longer gain the same benefits from the same workout, with your fitness gains stalling.
If this happens, you may want to shake up your push-up workout to keep it going. For example, if you do 2 sets of 10 push-ups, try for 2 sets of 12 push-ups or 3 sets of 10 push-ups. You could even try other variations of push-ups to keep yourself going.
Push-ups are hard on certain areas of the body and if you don’t do them correctly, you may injure yourself.
Hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, back, stomach, and chest are areas that could be injured during a push-up, and once they’re injured, you will have to stop working out for a few weeks.
How Often Should You Do Push-Ups?
While daily push-ups seem ideal, we wouldn’t recommend doing them every day, at least not quite every day. Instead, we would say you could comfortably do a set of push-ups every other day or for two days then have a rest day, even every day out of the week but one.
This will give your body time to recuperate and recover, rather than being slowly worn down by excessive exercise.
Even so, they are so quick and easy to do that you can slot them in at any time you need to.
Push-ups are an incredible form of exercise that work out a lot of areas of the body and can be accomplished with no equipment whatsoever.
As such, they are a great form of exercise to include in your daily routine. Just make sure that you don’t overexert yourself.
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