Yes, You Should Be Practicing Push-Ups

Join The Murph Prep Challenge and build your push-up capacity for long-term benefits.
Fountain City Fitness
May 10, 2024
Yes, You Should Be Practicing Push-Ups

I despise push-ups. Yep, I said it. I really, REALLY don't like push-ups. But, as Coach Jeff likes to remind me, I don't like push-ups because I'm not very good at push-ups, and I'm not very good at push-ups because I don't practice push-ups. In fact, I've been known to swap in handstand push-ups, rather than have to face down my plank push-up weakness - and let's be clear, handstand push-ups are not necessarily a strength on their own. The truth of the matter is that I need to practice push-ups - and you do, too.

In the realm of physical fitness, few exercises hold as much practical significance as the push-up. At its core, the push-up embodies a fundamental human movement: the ability to lift oneself up off the ground. This seemingly simple action carries profound implications for overall wellbeing, emphasizing not only physical strength but also independence, resilience, and functional capability.

My 95-year-old grandfather does twenty push-ups every single morning, and he does them on the ground. And while he has always lived an active lifestyle, his commitment to consistency in the humble push-up is what has enabled him to do this. The ability to rise from a prone position is essential for everyday life, especially as we age. Whether it's getting out of bed in the morning, lifting groceries, or simply standing up after sitting, this basic movement underpins countless activities we often take for granted. Neglecting to maintain this ability can lead to a loss of independence and diminished quality of life, particularly as we age.

Push-ups serve as a practical means of reinforcing this essential movement pattern. By repeatedly lifting and lowering one's body weight, individuals develop the necessary strength and coordination to perform this action effortlessly. Moreover, push-ups engage multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, arms, core, and even the legs, promoting balanced strength and functional mobility throughout the body.

Beyond the physical benefits, mastering the push-up instills a sense of self-reliance and confidence. Knowing that one possesses the strength and capability to lift themselves off the ground fosters a sense of empowerment and independence. This confidence extends beyond the realm of physical fitness, permeating various aspects of life and influencing one's mindset and approach to challenges.

Furthermore, the push-up serves as a metaphor for resilience and perseverance. Just as in life, mastering the push-up requires consistency, determination, and the willingness to push through discomfort. Each repetition represents a small victory, reinforcing the idea that progress is achievable through dedication and effort.

In essence, the ability to get oneself up off the ground is not merely a physical feat but a symbol of autonomy and vitality. By incorporating push-ups into one's routine, individuals can cultivate the strength, resilience, and confidence needed to navigate life's challenges with grace and independence. As a foundational exercise, the push-up lays the groundwork for a life of health, vitality, and self-reliance.

Starting May 1st, Fountain City Fitness will be hosting The Murph Prep Challenge, and in-house, friendly competition to build push-up capacity, along with pull-up and air squat capacity. We believe that, by practicing these basic body movements every day for 3 weeks, you'll be better prepared when Murph* rolls around. Each day, you can earn one point for completing a round of: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. You can earn 5 maximum round points each day (though you can certainly train more than 5 rounds, should you prefer). Additionally, you can earn an extra point for posting your completion to social media and tagging @fountaincityfitness. Rack up as many points as you can before May 24th, when the challenge officially ends. All modifications are welcome - even at-home modifications. Check with a Fountain City coach to learn how to best modify the movements based your current goals and ability. Good luck!

*Murph is a Crossfit Hero WOD that most Crossfit affiliates perform every Memorial Day, in memory of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, the commanding SEAL officer who died in Afghanistan while heroically working to save his comrades, leaving cover in order to satellite phone for back-up. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. The Murph WOD consists of a 1 mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, finishing with another 1 mile run. Many choose to wear a weight vest as they complete this workout as a physical reminder of the burden of responsibility that soldiers willingly accept.

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