As you may know, this year I have been participating in a Push-Ups challenge. For the entire year.
First, I committed to doing one hundred push-ups every day for the month of January. Then I continued in February by committing to 50 push-ups every damn day for the rest of the year.
I hate push-ups. I STILL hate push-ups. But I’ve been doing them. Consistently since January 1.
And I was getting really good at them. I was flipping them out without a hitch.
Then back in March I (somehow – not push-up related) injured my shoulder. In fact, I injured it quite badly tearing the rotator cuff in two places. And now, 6 months later, it’s still not any better. I’m finally in physiotherapy for it. I’ve seen a couple of doctors, had an x-ray (pointless, BTW), and was prescribed some medication. None of it has helped. I have another appointment with a doctor in a few weeks, but for now it’s just pain, pain, pain.
And ripping out those stupid push-ups was almost nil for a while. But I found a way to do them that does not cause me pain (or a lot of swearing!) and for months, I have been practicing modified push-ups with a shoulder rotation. Now I’m sort of back to the point where can use more body weight and do a few that way, but after about a dozen or two, I have to break or go back to a modification.
But, I will continue with my challenge of 50 push-ups each day until the end of the year. And you should consider doing them too.
Here are 5 reasons (there are many more!)why you should being incorporating push-ups into your daily activity – even if you’re not exercising regularly:
- Builds Upper Body Strength: you can build upper body strength without having to use a ton of weights. Push-ups target the shoulders, pecs, and triceps which will develop a strong and defined upper body.
- Strengthens your core: most people don’t know that a strong core is key to a push-up. Ever wondered why your hips sag or hike during your push-ups? Your abdominal muscles are acting as stabilizers during the push-up just like they would in a plank. Weak abs = poor push-up form.
- Increases energy quickly: Sure does! Popping off a few push-ups can immediately boost your energy, increase circulation, fire up the brain, and heat the body .
- Increases Bone Mass: Bone mass naturally declines with age, which can leave bones prone to fracture. It’s crucial to perform weight-bearing exercises to keep bones strong. Since push–ups strengthen major muscle groups as well as the wrists and elbows, your risk of injury will be reduced because you‘re keeping these body parts strong.
- Weight loss: Since the push-up is a total body movement it will increase your heart rate quickly and, in turn, can/will/should/may result in burning more calories, promoting weight loss and overall improvement in your body composition.