One of the work outs that seems to remain popular through the years are push-ups, an exercise which is very common in military training (or military punishment) and performed in a position where the body lies flat and the upper body is raised by using your arms.
This exercise is a good indicator of the physical condition you are in, because it is testing not only your arms, but the rest of your body as well: you are also using groups of muscle in your legs, hips, chest and abdomen.
Principle of a push up
The principle of a push-up is quite simple; you are using your own body weight and your own body strength and it is the easiest and fastest way to show what power and strength you have. However, although the theory of doing is easy to understand, not every person is able to do a push-up.
Because on average people are getting heavier, it becomes too strenuous to do a push-up for a large group of people. That this is not age-related shows a study from East Carolina University: they tested 70 children between the ages of 10 to 13 years. 50% of boys failed the push-up test of the researchers, while 75% of girls could not finish the test.
Talking about age: push-ups are actually important for elderly people as well, since regular exercising keeps people fit and will help to counter the ailments of aging.
Push up variations
Besides the normal push-up, there are a number of variations, which focus more on different muscle groups than the normal push-up exercise. A well-known variation is the knuckle push-up, which is often used in martial arts. Instead of using your flat to push your body up, you are using the knuckles of your fist. Other famous push-up exercises are the diamond push-ups, planche-push-ups and one-arm push-ups.
In various online- and offline sport shops you can find equipment that can improve your exercises, such as push-up bars, power stands or ab wheels. These kind of fitness tools will help you achieving better results from doing push-ups, while it reduces the strain on elbows, wrists and shoulders. Push-up equipment like power stands and push-up bars can be used by people who are just starting as well as sport lovers who have long been doing fitness exercises.
(Source: Wikipedia, NY Times)