By Coach Mel
Pushups are hard. That is why pushups are awesome.
If you have been at POINT much in the past two weeks you may feel as though “DROP and give me 100” is the theme as we get comfortable in our new skill series segment: Pushups. Perhaps it is seeming futile and as though we just like to see you suffer at our commands, but we assure you, there is method behind the madness.
Pushups require total body strength. They are not simply and “arm” exercise which is why they are so hard and so awesome. It is also why you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you need to do a “modified pushup.” (Note my previous blog… if you refer to them as “girl pushups” you will definitely get a plate placed upon your back as punishment while you do them next time.) Today, we talk about five of many reasons why this move is so fantastic So fantastic, in fact, that I am smiling for no reason as I type other than pushups make me happy. We all have that one exercise, right? ;)
- No muscle left behind in the pushup! This is my favorite reason why pushups are awesome. Every muscle is called upon at some point during your pushup. Both the down and up are difficult because if you are not pushing your body weight up you are lowering your body weight and stabilizing yourself and using your core to support your whole body as you lower down. Awesome!
- You actually stretch while doing the pushup. A lot of what we do in our day closes off our shoulder mobility. Think typing, driving, texting, you name it. The bottom of a pushup (if you come all the way down like your coaches tell you to) lets you open up your chest and stretch your shoulders, chest and back.
- They are a great shoulder strengthener. A very common injury for people is a shoulder injury. This is because your shoulder is a ball and socket joint which is why we can swing it around in circles if we want to. But it also makes the shoulder vulnerable. Because a pushup uses your stabilizer muscles surrounding the rotator cuff you are essentially, in the pushup, preparing your shoulder to be strong and conditioned in preparation for more dynamic movements.
- Another common injury is the lower back. The pushups calls upon your core and lower back muscles. By developing more core strength you use less pressure on your low back during workouts and in other everyday movements.
- They are quick and require no more space than you are tall. Once while on a long trip I challenged myself to do 100 pushups (among a few other exercises, obviously burpees) every day to keep my strength up. While you may be rolling your eyes at your screen right now let me tell you that I was not laughing.
All in all if you hate the pushup you are not alone (ask Coach KB). But rest assured that as you join POINT during this skill series you are developing total body strength, stability and mental strength. They will become easier and way more fun… you just have to keep doing them!