The top three reasons I think a pushup should be a mainstay in everyone’s training program:
In a recent article in Shape Magazine, I gave my advice on what form I think you should use while doing a pushup. I want to take a second to step back and be clear on why are we doing a pushup and why I think they’re a great exercise that should be in every training program.
Number one, a pushup is a great core exercise. What a lot of people don’t realize is that you’re using force generated in your upper body to affect your dead weight in your lower body. That force needs to be transferred in your core, so in its most basic state, a pushup is a core exercise.
Number two, a pushup is metabolically challenging, meaning relative to other exercises, you can get a lot more metabolic response out of doing a proper pushup potentially than doing, say, a dumbbell chest press, or a bench press, or a cable press.
Number three, no matter what the situation, a pushup is easily measurable. What I mean by that is you may have a gym, you may not have a gym. You may have a gym with a bench, with dumbbells, you may not have a gym with a bench with dumbbells. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter what equipment you have access to, you can always do the exact same pushup. Therefore, it’s an exercise that you can measure consistently no matter what the situation.
Now, that being said, a couple of things about a pushup that I do want to mention is A, I try as much as possible not to do pushups from our knees. That pretty much takes the need to have a strong core not necessarily out of the picture, but it reduces the need, and that’s one of the things that we’re going for. B, I do want you to have a full range of motion with my neck in line with my shoulders. C, when necessary, I do want you to regress or progress the pushup, meaning if I cannot keep proper form, I want to first elevate my hands.
What I mean by this is put my hands up on a 12-inch box, a 6-inch box, an 18-inch box, or even a bar on a squat rack. When ready, I then want to maybe potentially put my hands on an unstable surface, or elevate my feet to progress. Enjoy reading this, and enjoy reading the article in the March edition of Shape Magazine, and feel free to ask questions if you have them.
Kelvin and his expert advice were featured in the 2017 March issue of Shape Magazine. Grab one at your local bodega and skip ahead to page 68 to get the deets!