The Benefits of Pushups
One of the biggest benefits of pushups (and calisthenics in general) is that they’re FREE. You can do pushups anywhere. On the road? Do some pushups. Don’t have time or the money to go to the gym? Do some pushups and their variations. Headed to the beach and want to pump up your chest, shoulders, and arms? Do some pushups. Poor scapular stability? Pushups.
They’re perfect for beginners. People can be intimidated by free weights when they first start off. But you’ve never heard of somebody dropping a bar on their neck while doing pushups, have you? No matter how much of a beginner you are, you can do pushups and see results.
They’re great for experts too. Overload them. Take a hand or a foot off the ground. Change your hand position. There are unlimited possibilities for variation and the more advanced tricks can provide a great goal and challenge for any weight lifter. Case in point: the legendary planche pushup. (I recommend starting off with learning the elbow lever first).
They promote shoulder health and a full range of motion. As mentioned earlier, the shoulder blade moves through its full, natural range of motion during a pushup. Unlike during the bench press.
They’re a great way to build strength in the upper body at variable speeds. Slow them down and add in pauses for a brutal eccentric and isometric workout. (Slowly lower to the ground, pause ½ way, slower lower, pause ¾ way down, slowly lower, hover over the ground for 10 seconds, and repeat the sequence on the way back up. If you’re a sadist, change directions mid pushup and redo the bottom holds 2-3 times in the same repetition.) Or speed them up with clapping pushups and other plyometric drills.
They’re an easy way to train the neurological system of the body, leading to rapid adaptation and gains in strength. “Grease the Groove”.