Learn push-ups: correct technique, advantages and tips for upper body training with your own weight!
The upper body training is mostly neglected by many women or sometimes even completely absent. The main reason for this is that they are afraid of becoming too muscular. Well, a strong upper body not only ensures a beautifully shaped body, but also brings a lot of advantages for our health. Together with the Plank exercise, pushups were named one of the most effective and effective fitness exercises in the world by the University of Bayreuth in 2008. They help us build strength, burn more calories and make us mentally stronger. In addition, push-ups train almost every muscle in our body and also strengthen our chest, shoulders, triceps and stomach. In our article, we will tell you how to learn the perfect push-up to benefit from the benefits of the exercise!
From a HIIT training plan to yoga to pure strength training – pushups have become a staple for many workouts. Regular push-ups help you tighten your upper body and strengthen your back and trunk muscles. Since they can be done practically from anywhere and do not require any equipment, pushups are wonderful for effective training at home without weights.
Which muscles are trained with push-ups?
Properly done, the push-up is actually one of the simplest and most effective exercises to build strength and muscles. Your own body weight is used as resistance and you train your upper body and core muscles at the same time. When you push yourself up, you put a lot of strain on your chest muscles and arms. But the following muscles are also trained during the entire execution:
- Anterior shoulder muscles
- Arm extension
- Abdominal muscles
Learn push-ups – This is how the exercise is carried out correctly
Just like with any other exercise, the right technique is the be-all and end-all with push-ups. Although they seem pretty simple at first glance, there is hardly any other exercise in which so many mistakes can be made. Since push-ups require a lot of contraction of the upper body muscles and women have less upper body strength compared to men, it can be very difficult for them to learn how to do push-ups in the beginning. So arm yourself with patience, because unfortunately you won't make it overnight. And this is how the right push-up version works:
- Kneel on an exercise mat or the floor and bring your feet together behind you.
- Bend forward to get into the high plank position.
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart next to your chest. The fingers must point forward or the hands are turned slightly inwards. Make sure that your hands are fully extended under the shoulder joint.
- The forearms are vertical and the elbows point backwards.
- Pull your shoulder back and look at the floor.
- Tense your stomach, bottom and back, inhale deeply and slowly lower yourself towards the floor.
- Make sure that the body forms a straight line. Don't let your hips or buttocks move up and your lower back shouldn't hang either.
- Push yourself up until your arms are fully extended again.
Push-ups for beginners – getting women's pushups right
Since push-up learning is very demanding at the beginning, beginners sometimes find it difficult to do classic push-ups. For this reason, it is recommended to start with a variant for beginners. The first method, which we will show you, is also known as a woman push-up and it is not based on the tips of your feet, but on your knees. Although less strength is needed to do this, you are still training your upper body and pectoral muscles. Add this exercise to your home workout routine to prepare yourself optimally for conventional pushups.
Push-ups on the knees
- Kneel on an exercise mat or on the floor, stretch out your hands and spread them shoulder-width apart below the chest.
- Push the body forward so that it forms a straight line and either lift the feet slightly or leave them on the floor.
- Now slowly lower your upper body. In doing so, bend your elbows and be careful not to guide them outside.
- Hold the position briefly and push up.
Pushups on the wall or on the sofa are even easier
If women's pushups are too difficult for you, you can do wall pushups or against a table or sofa.
How to do wall pushups properly:
- Stand face up against a wall about 1 meter away.
- Spread your feet hip-width apart, place your hands at chest height and about shoulder-width apart on the wall.
- Look forward and bend your elbows slightly.
- Now lean against the wall and push the body away again.
- Make sure that the body remains tense all the time and is in a straight line.
Learn pushups – Helpful tips and common mistakes
Pushups are only effective if done correctly. In addition, the wrong technique can lead to permanent back injuries. Below are a few helpful tips for learning pushups.
- Your body must form a straight line throughout the execution. Don't let your lower back hang and your bottom should always stay down.
- Don't stretch your head up – your gaze must be towards the floor.
- The elbows must stay as close as possible to the body and not point outwards. This is particularly important in order to avoid melting the shoulders.
- To prevent pain in the elbows, it is recommended not to extend your arms fully in the up position.
How many push-ups a day and do pushups burn calories?
Undoubtedly, pushups are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your upper body. But then comes the question of how much should be done to see any results. Unfortunately, there is no exact answer. Health professionals recommend simply trying to challenge yourself. For example, start with 5 repetitions and only increase the number if you can do them easily. In terms of frequency, 2 to 3 times a week are optimal – this is the only way the body has enough time to rest and recover properly. The number of calories burned can also vary greatly from person to person. In general, the following 4 factors are critical:
- Height and weight – The bigger and heavier a person is, the more calories are burned.
- Gender – Typically, men burn more calories than women who do the same exercise with the same intensity. The reason for this is that they basically have less body fat and more muscles.
- Age – As you age, your metabolism slows down, which in turn affects the number of calories burned during a training session.
- Intensity – The higher intensity increases your heart rate and promotes calorie burning.
What do pushups do and what are their health benefits?
Together with the Plank exercise, pushups are a so-called compound exercise – which means that they work on several muscle groups at the same time.
- Muscle stretching – One of the most underestimated benefits of push-ups is stretching the biceps and back muscles. When you sink to the floor, your back is stretched and when you push yourself into the starting position – the biceps. This improves flexibility, which prevents injuries.
- Learn pushups and improve the cardiovascular system – A 2019 study looked at the relationship between the number of pushups a person can do and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease 10 years later. The risk of those who could do 40 pushups was 96% lower than those who did less than 10 push-ups.
- Pushups promote muscle building – By using so many muscle groups, the production of growth hormone, also known as HGH, is stimulated. This in turn leads to muscle growth.
- Push-ups improve posture – If you work at your desk 8 hours a day or spend a lot of time in front of the computer, your posture will be affected. If you learn the right push-up technique and do it regularly, you will strengthen your back and core muscles. A strong upper body is essential to prevent and treat lower back injuries.
- Training doesn't take long and no equipment is needed – Lack of time is the most common reason why so many people don't exercise. Because pushups are a composite exercise that strains the major muscle groups at the same time, they're great for a quick and effective home workout. In addition, push-ups can be performed anywhere and without equipment.
- Pushups promote testosterone production and strengthen our bones – With increasing age, the concentration of various hormones in the body decreases. According to a study carried out in 2010, the movements of a classic push-up promote the production of testosterone, which is very important for a healthy body. In addition, exercise exercises such as push-ups strengthen bone density and can prevent osteoporosis in old age.
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