Push ups are one of the most popular exercises to strengthen your upper body. This is a functional movement that works both on strength and endurance, and it requires no equipment, so it can easily be done at your home or workplace. This is a compound exercise that engages several muscle groups at once.
While the chest is the primary mover in this exercise, you will also strengthen your triceps, shoulders, back, and similar to the plank position, it will also strengthen your core and abs.
One of the biggest benefits of the push ups is that it is very versatile, by simply changing your hand position, you can put emphasis on different muscles in your upper body. The wide grip push up works mostly on your chest, while in the narrow grip push up the triceps will take part of the load. The wide grip variation is usually easier to do for most people.
Squeeze core and glutes to create a straight line from head to heel and maintain the tightness for stability throughout the whole exercise. don't let your back arch or your hips sag down during the movement.
Don't flare your arms. Letting those arms pop out to 90 degrees can be really tough on the shoulders. Instead of forming a “T” with the arms and body, keep your elbows tucked a little closer at about a 20 degree angle or even less, find a position that feel comfortable for you.
Make sure to do the exercise for the entire range of motion. Try to go down to the point that your chest almost touches the floor, cutting the movement short might feel easier, but it is less effective. Remember that keeping a good form is more important with push ups than accomplishing more reps.
If you find this exercises too difficult, or your form suffers. you can put your knees down on the floor. this will reduce the pressure on your upper body. Another even easier variation, is the incline push up - when you put your hands on an elevated surface, like a bench, or a low table.