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Do Pushups Work?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Do Pushups Work?
Pushups strengthen several muscle groups and improve your overall fitness. Photo Credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Weight machines and free weights aren't the only ways to strengthen your muscles. If you're on a budget or just prefer the solitude of working out at home, body-weight exercises such as pushups are ideal. While pushups aren't the fastest way to build your chest muscles, they can strengthen your body and play a role in weight loss.

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Strength for Daily Life

Performing pushups strengthens your chest, shoulders, upper arms, back and core. "Best Health" magazine notes pushups are an effective way to strengthen your muscles for everyday activities and build strength in your upper body. This exercise can play a role in weight loss or weight maintenance, as increasing your muscles elevates your metabolism.

Not the Cream of the Crop

Performing pushups a couple times a week can help you eventually feel and look stronger, but this exercise isn't the most efficient way to strengthen your pectoral muscles. An American Council on Exercise-sponsored study notes that the barbell bench press exercise generates the most activity in your pecs. Standard pushups rank ninth in muscle activity, beneath suspended pushups and stability ball pushups.

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