Why Do Push Ups?

Jan 6, 2011 by

If you are a runner and you are reading this blog chances are that you are not a professional runner. That means that you probably don’t have the time to dedicate your entire life to running improvement through twice a day workouts and 150 mile weeks. Other obligations take top priority leaving running behind.

If you are like me you also don’t like to think while you are working out. I personally like to zone out and let my mind wander. Maybe that is why I like running so much. Also if you are like me you might not make it to the gym to do strength training or maybe you don’t have a gym membership. The good news is that there is an answer and the answer is Push Ups.

Why are push ups so ideal and specifically how can they help me be a better runner? Push ups are the miracle exercise and so the answer to this question is almost limitless. In my previous post on staying injury free I mentioned developing core strength and doing symmetrical exercises. Push ups help develop our core and they are also a symmetrical exercise. It is like killing two birds with one stone, not that I would ever kill a bird.

Let’s review pros and cons of doing push ups.

Pros

  • Like running they do not require a gym membership
  • Not complicated to do, but may require some motivation
  • They workout the entire body (hands, fingers, forearms, biceps, triceps, abdominals, back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, feet, and many other smaller muscles that help stabilize the body)
  • Strengthening your stabilizing muscles will help you prevent injury while running
  • Builds strong lean muscles all over your body for an overall healthy look
  • Push ups are a hybrid of weight training and a cardio workout
  • Push ups are a resistance exercise and can help improve bone density
  • Resistance exercise can also increase heart muscle strength
  • Push ups increase the heart rate, which in turn increase metabolism and burns many calories
  • If you join the army basic training will be a cake walk
  • Push ups do not require a lot of time to reap the benefits. In only minutes a day you will begin to see results (sounds like a late night infomercial for the latest at home ab workout machine)
  • Push ups build up muscle endurance, which can help on a long run/race
  • Builds confidence—when you can do 50-100 push ups at one time you will feel confident

Cons

  • Let me know if you can think of any; I can’t.

So why am I so into push ups? Well about a year ago or more my wife turned me onto the 100 push up challenge. She read about it somewhere and I found it intriguing due to the challenge aspect. I am always up for a challenge, but I never really followed through. There is a wonderful website www.hundredpushups.com that has a 6 week program to help you work up to 100 push ups in one set. I am finally ready to take that challenge. I am starting on week 2 and I will keep you updated on the challenge. If you want to take the challenge go to the website and print off the training schedule it is absolutely free. I printed off the pocketmod schedule that can be folded up and put in your pocket as a reminder. Good luck!

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11 Comments

  1. Shawnee

    I agree that push-ups are a great exercise that covers alot of muscle in one exercise. My only “con” is that push-up technique is often faulty. Make sure your alignment is absolutely correct to stay injury-free.

  2. I’m totally starting this next week!

  3. troy broussard

    i was in a bad auto accident about two years ago and had a torn rotator cuff surgery. after the doctor let me go i started doing one push up a day. the next day idid two. and so on and so on until i got to one hundred. since then i do 100 every morning and can definitly tell a difference.

  4. Inspiring information on improving my athletic performance!

  5. Noob Philter

    Not necessarily a con, but a concern: I’m starting a weight training program where I am working out twice per week with free weights. This is on top of my normal 30-40 miles of running per week. Could I do pushups 6 days per week on top of this, or would that cause me to overtrain?

    • If you are training for a marathon I would say it is too much. I would recommend the 6 days a week in the off season and then reduce it during training season to just maintain.

  6. very good tips bro!

  7. Tony’s e-mail about doing 1 push-up to start after rotor cuff surgery then another until now doing 100 push-ups is AWESOME! Really inspiring..way to go Tony!

  8. Adoni

    Great blog! Thanks for that.
    I’ve started a few weeks ago and can tell a huge difference, not just physically, but my stamina increased and I feel more confident.
    I am a runner too, and doing pushups helps a lot!! I feel stronger and have more endurance.
    I do pushups every second day. The day rest is when your muscle built and when you recover, so make sure to take that day off. Also, after doing push ups, making a smoothie (bananas, yoghurt, avocado, frozen strawberries, flax seeds, honey, hemp protein/hemp oil/hemp hearts) help you optimize the benefits of doing push ups. It is just important to take care of yourself afterwards as it is doing them.
    Good luck :)

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