We are all looking for exercises which will help make us stronger, help prevent injury, and let’s face it—we want an exercise that helps us fit into our clothes a little better. If you think you have to hit every machine the gym has to for an effective whole body workout, I want to change the way you view exercise. What if I told you there is an exercise you can do without any equipment, in your own home, regardless of your fitness level that can strengthen your shoulders, back, and core? Trust me, it is NOT too good to be true.
At BRG, we love exercises which incorporate working groups of muscles together versus isolating one muscle at a time. This will not only save you time, but also improve your function during day to day tasks. Think about it, how often in your daily routine of housework, playing you’re your kids or friends, or lifting something heavy do you isolate singular muscles (I’ll give you a hint, you don’t)! Your exercise should mimic your life outside of the gym to be the most effective. One study found that push-ups are an ideal exercise for activating your shoulder, scapular, and abdominal muscles (1).
Push-ups are a tried and true strengthening exercise which can be performed without any equipment. If you are shaking your head, saying to yourself “There is no way I can (or will) do push-ups,” keep reading! While push-ups are an advanced strengthening exercise, there are several modifications that can be made to make them easier, or harder, depending on your strength and fitness level. Push-ups are an extremely effective exercise at strengthening your shoulders, chest, scapula, back, and stomach muscles when performed correctly, and at the appropriate level.
In the video below, I cover the proper way to progress your push-up, with level one excellent for beginners through level four for those fitness fanatics. The key to choosing your level of push-up is finding the level which is challenging to your muscles, but you are able to perform with picture perform form. While fast forwarding to the final level may seem like a good idea to strengthen faster, beware. Ripping sets of push-ups incorrectly can wind up causing more harm than good, putting too much pressure on your back, neck, or shoulders. The video covers common mistakes I see during push-ups and ways to correct your technique to ensure you are strengthening effectively to prevent injury.
Join the BRG push-up challenge today. Choose the appropriate push-up level from the video below and start with ten a day. See how your strength builds as you increase repetitions and progress to harder levels!
1. Lear, Leslie J, and Michael T Gross. “An Electromyographical Analysis of the Scapular Stabilizing Synergists During a Push-up Progression .” Journal Of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, vol. 28, no. 3, Sept. 1998, pp. 146–158.