Originally punblished on December 26, 2019, this post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.
Nowadays, too many people are out of shape. In fact, obesity is (as of right now) one of the most severe public health issues facing the country. An astonishing number of people eat too much, exercise too little and don’t take their fitness seriously. As physical therapists, we’re always looking to instill a desire for bodily health in our patients. Of course, with such busy schedules and so many obligations, it’s easy for us to neglect our physical fitness.
However, we also know that there are two simple daily exercises everyone can do that will have undeniably-positive effects on their physique. Fortunately, you can work these into your schedule even if you hate gyms, weight-lifting or exercising out of the house. We’re talking about very simple, super basic push-ups and sit-ups. In this post, we’ll discuss why you should be doing them every day and their effects on the body.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most basic exercises a person can do. In fact, you probably learned all about it back in elementary school gym class. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it one of the most universally-accessible exercises. Additionally, you can do them just about anywhere, at any time.
Everyday push-ups reinforce both upper body and core strength in ways that physical therapy often does. Done properly, they engage muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs, and even the legs. Of course, one popular incentive to do push-ups every day is to tone and refine the chest and abs. However, the strength and muscular benefits they provide give them much more value than simple aesthetic appeal.
How to Do a Push-Up
Explaining how to do push-ups may seem futile. However, you’d be amazed how many people apply incorrect form to this fundamental exercise. As a result, they don’t quite receive the same degree of benefits. Also, they can increase their risk of acute or chronic injuries that require physical therapy treatments – so proper form is always a must.
Keep your back straight, your core engaged and your rear lowered, not elevated. Basically, you want your body to form a straight line. Try not to let your body sag as you use your upper body strength to support yourself and lower, then raise, your torso.
Much like push-ups, sit-ups are an exercise fundamental. In addition, your physical therapist will agree that they’re a positive way to work towards core strength and a more toned physique. Sit-ups help develop a strong core to resist auto and workplace injuries, improve posture, and enhance athletic performance.
Also, this is one particular routine that (like cardio) both burns a considerable number of calories and engages several muscle groups at once. Basically, this makes them an excellent choice to lose weight and build muscle – especially for anyone with limited time on their hands.
How to Do a Sit-Up
First and foremost, find a flat surface where you have plenty of space and lie flat on your back. Bend your legs and place your feet firmly on the ground to stabilize your lower body. Next, cross your hands to opposite shoulders, or place them behind your ears without pulling on your neck.
Once you’re comfortable and ready to begin, curl your upper body up towards your knees, exhaling as you rise. Slowly lower yourself down, returning to your starting point. Inhale as you lower.
Conclusion – Farmingdale Physical Therapy
Ultimately, at Farmingdale Physical Therapy, we want all of our patients to live healthy lives as possible. In addition to looking great, doing push-ups and sit-ups daily will strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, core and upper body strength, burn calories and more. We refine our physical therapy treatments to help you heal from injury and manage chronic pain while delivering much of these benefits. Also, working them into your regular routine is one of the most reliable ways to improve your physical health without any significant disruptions to your daily itinerary.