Pushups are one of the oldest and most basic exercises and they are very effective. They work out all the muscles in the upper body and build optimal strength in the forearms, wrists, upper arms, shoulders and chest. Former NFL star Herschel Walker was one of the top running backs in the game in the 1980s. He eschewed weightlifting but he did a regimen of at least 100 pushups everyday, something he has continued well into his retirement. "They helped me get in shape and stay in shape," Walker said. "That's why I have always done them. Every day."
Pushups push the body toward physical exertion. In addition to building strength, they force the heart to work harder and the blood to pump faster. This increases metabolism and helps you burn more calories. The benefit of the pushup is still felt hours after the exercise is done.
Doing pushups on a regular basis will make you stronger and improve your overall conditioning. However, it will also increase your confidence. You will find that doing pushups in sets of 25, 50 and 100 will build massive arm and upper body strength. Do it regularly and you will build as much strength as the guys who spend hours in the gym.It is such a good exercise that the U.S. Army still uses the pushup as one of its primary activities to get soldiers in shape.
Benefit to Women
Women typically have less upper body strength than men. While there has been an increase in womens' weightlifting, many women are not comfortable lifting barbells and heavy dumbbells. Pushups can be the great equalizer. Women who do pushups can quickly build strength in the chest, upper arms, forearms and wrists. Doing three sets of 10 to 15 pushups is a great starting point for women who want to get stronger.
Building Core Strength
In addition to building upper body strength and gaining more power in the arms, shoulders and hands, pushups done with the proper form will help build the core muscles in the middle of your body. To do pushups properly, your elbows must be fully extended at the start and end of a pushup, your toes should be on the floor and your legs, hips and back should be straight.