Everybody knows that the only way you build muscle is by lifting heavy weighs, right?
We’re not saying that weight training doesn’t build muscle, because we all know it does, but sometimes you don’t need to lift any weights at all in order to pack on the muscle.
Today we’re looking at several awesome benefits of push-ups and will be looking at just what it is about push-ups that make this exercise one of the most popular chest exercises in existence.
Push-ups are a testament to the fact that you can build muscle mass and increase functional strength without picking up a set of dumbbells or a barbell.
Push-ups are a resistance-based bodyweight movement that is considered to be one of the most effective chest exercises in existence, and also one of the top calisthenics exercises.
Virtually everybody knows what a push-up is, and we dare say, that many of you will almost certainly have done your fair share over the years.
But why are push-ups so beneficial?
That’s what we’re going to look at today.
Here are several awesome push-ups benefits.
Table Of Contents
If you’re looking for a fantastic way to add muscle mass to your chest and promote muscle hypertrophy, you need to look no further than the humble push-up.
Push-ups are one of the most effective chest exercises in the world.
Many consider push-ups to be just as beneficial for building muscle mass on the chest are barbell bench presses.
Push-ups target the upper, middle, and lower pecs so you can build a fuller, thicker, more solid and tighter chest without even needing to lift a single weight.
One mistake that people often make when discussing the benefits of doing push-ups, is assuming that push-ups are an isolation exercise.
Whilst it is true that push-ups will primarily target your pectoral muscles, push-ups also work for several other muscle groups at the same time as well.
This makes push-ups a great compound exercise as you can work several parts of your anatomy at the same time.
Push-ups target your chest, your triceps get a lot of work, as do your deltoids, your back, and even your core.
That means that by doing that one movement, you can work all of those muscles at the same time.
Functional strength is a term that is used a lot in the fitness industry at the moment.
Functional strength became a popular fitness term when CrossFit took off and became so popular.
CrossFit or functional strength is a term used to describe strength which can be deemed as functional and beneficial in everyday life.
There’s being gym strong, and then there’s being functionally strong.
Push-ups are a great way of building functional strength because you use your own bodyweight for resistance.
The movements you perform when doing a push up are far more like the types of movements that you’ll perform in everyday life.
Getting down on your hands and knees to retrieve some money you dropped under the couch, for example, will require similar movements to stand up as you’d perform when doing a push-up.
It’s small things like that which make the biggest difference.
Despite knowing how important it is to warm up and stretch the muscles before we begin exercising, the simple fact of the matter is that many of us fail to stretch before we start training.
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re looking at today is the fact that push-ups provide a deep stretch in your muscles, which helps to warm them up, increases muscle elasticity, and increases flexibility.
Sticking with the benefits of stretching the muscles, another key benefit of push-ups is the fact that they help you to avoid injury whilst training.
Push-ups help to increase muscle fiber elasticity, which means that you’re less likely to suffer from a pulled or torn muscle.
The nature of the exercise also means that they’re much safer than other exercises such as heavy barbell bench presses.
Primarily when people think of push-ups they focus on the muscle-building benefits of the exercise.
Whilst push-ups are a great resistance-based compound exercise for building and toning the muscles, there are many weight loss benefits to be enjoyed when you do push-ups regularly.
Push-ups are a compound exercise, which means that you’re using several muscle groups at the same time when you do the exercise.
The more muscles you use, the harder your body is working which means the more calories you’ll be burning off.
As push-ups burn calories, they also provide several cardiovascular benefits as you perform them.
This means that push-ups are surprisingly heart-healthy.
Performing push-ups on a regular basis will provide you with countless heart benefits which could potentially increase your longevity.
Push-ups will help to strengthen your heart, they help reduce blood pressure, and they can, therefore, help you to avoid serious health conditions such as hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.
If you’re looking to build up your chest with bench presses, dumbbell flyes, cable cross overs, etc, you’ll need access to a gym that has all of the equipment you need.
This isn’t ideal if you don’t have access to a gym or the time to train.
So, what can you do instead?
Do you simply need to sit back and let your chest gains disappear for good?
No, instead, you’ll need to find something else.
Thankfully that something else is one of the best chest exercises in the world.
Push-ups are great because you can do them virtually anywhere.
You can do them at home, at work, in the park, in the garden, in your hotel room.
As long as you have a relatively open area of space you can perform push-ups with no real issues in the slightest.
Many people, when discussing the benefits, fail to recognize the fact that push-ups are fantastic for working your back muscles.
Push-ups give you a great stretch in your back which improves back flexibility and mobility.
As an added bonus you’ll also find that your back muscles are worked harder than usual as well, so don’t be surprised to see some noticeable improvements in your overall back development.
When you do push-ups, your triceps will get a great workout as it is.
If you adjust your hand placement, however, and adopt more of a narrower stance, you’ll find that you can isolate the triceps and give them one heck of a workout (such as Power Tower workout) when you perform push-ups of this nature.
Even if you aren’t looking to train your triceps directly, they still get a little work when you do push-ups.
Not only can you build them up and develop them, but you can also increase your triceps strength and power.
When talking about the benefits, a lot of people overlook the fact that push-ups are absolutely fantastic for people looking to improve their pressing.
Push-ups are a fantastic accessory exercise for a whole variety of pressing movements.
Push-ups will improve your bench press, they’ll help you to military press more weight, they’ll assist you with dumbbell shoulder presses, and much more besides.
Not only do push-ups help you to generate power from your chest, but they also work your triceps as well, which play a key role in a number of pressing exercises and movements.
So far when focussing on the benefits, we’ve only really focused on your muscles and body mechanics.
Now it’s time to look at the aesthetical benefits as well.
Push-ups are very beneficial for building muscle and burning fat.
Because of this, you’ll find that your physique becomes a great deal more aesthetically pleasing when you incorporate push-ups into your training regime.
Push-ups help you to burn fat, they sculpt the chest, they build muscle in the upper body, and they’ll give you a much more impressive-looking physique than you had previously.
It has been found in many popular workout programs such as Ice Cream Fitness and Tempo Training.
Shoulder injuries amongst weightlifters are very common.
In particular, rotator cuff injuries are especially common.
These injuries are debilitating, they require a lot of rehabs, and often they require surgery to correct.
All of this means a lot of time away from the gym as you recover.
Keeping your shoulders fit, healthy, and injury-free however, is far easier said than done.
Thankfully, push-ups are ideal in this situation.
Push-ups help to strengthen stabilizer muscles, including those which surround the rotator cuff.
This means that push-ups can help to prevent rotator cuff injuries and keep the shoulders fit, strong, and healthy.
HGH, or, Human Growth Hormone, is one of the most important hormones found in the human body.
It is extremely anabolic, which plenty of androgenic benefits thrown in for good measure.
The more HGH we produce naturally, the more muscle we naturally produce.
HGH is also very important for keeping the cells healthy, as well as your muscles large and full.
Put simply, the less HGH you produce, the less muscle you’ll build, and the more health issues you’ll likely experience.
Because push-ups work so many different muscles in your body, more HGH is naturally produced and secreted.
As well as assisting with the production and secretion of HGH, push-ups are also very beneficial in that they boost testosterone production.
Testosterone is the dominant male sexual health hormone which is responsible for all manner of physiological processes within the human body.
Testosterone helps to boost muscle mass, it speeds up the fat loss, it increases energy, it boosts strength, it boosts libido, and much more besides.
Just like push-ups help to increase HGH, it turns out that push-ups also naturally boost testosterone production as well.
With so many of us sitting at our desks, slumped forwards in front of a computer, or hunched forwards scrolling through our phones in the evening, it’s easy to see why chiropractors are currently making so much money.
Poor posture can leave you in a great deal of pain and discomfort, and it can lead to problems later on in life as well. Often, bad posture is down to a weak core.
Push-ups help to strengthen your core and back, meaning that your spine remains properly aligned, allowing you to practice proper posture.
This will not only help you to appear taller, but it will also help you to avoid pain and discomfort.
If you don’t really have much time to exercise, but you still want to do something productive, push-ups are fantastic.
You can bust out several sets of push-ups in a matter of minutes.
Push-ups will help you to build more muscle in your chest and upper body, and they’ll burn calories so you can burn fat and lose weight at the same time.
All of this combined together means that push-ups are ideal for anybody that doesn’t have much time to exercise.
As you can see, there are plenty of awesome benefits of push-ups to be enjoyed when you perform this awesome bodyweight exercise on a regular basis.
Push-ups are simple, quick, easy, and very effective and if you aren’t doing them regularly, hopefully, you will after you finish reading this.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.