Push-ups are one of those exercises that most people love to hate. However, there are many good reasons why they are worth doing – and why they remain a staple in our in-home and virtual personal training toolbox:

Why we love push ups


Nielsen Fitness believes in functional fitness. Our private trainers take a health-first approach; improving our client’s health and function is at the core of every in-home and virtual workout we do in Toronto, Collingwood, and virtually.

Push-ups are a fantastic tool for functionality, as they mimic the basic everyday movement of pushing. Think of pushing yourself up from the floor, catching yourself in a fall, pushing heavy objects, and more. Improving your fitness in a way that translates to activities of daily living will make daily tasks easier while supporting your exercise consistency, as tangible results boost motivation.


On top of being functional, push-ups are extremely efficient. They are a full-body, compound exercise, which means push-ups use every major muscle group. When done correctly, push-ups target the chest, shoulders, and triceps while also engaging the core and lower body for stability.  They can also be used to elevate the heart rate for some cardiovascular benefit, depending on how many you do and in how much time (this will vary from person to person). In fact, “a 2019 study published in JAMA Open Network found that being able to do more push-ups is associated with lower risk for heart disease” (Business Insider, 2020). This comes in handy if you’re short on time or looking for a challenge. Nielsen Fitness trainers are particularly inclined to use this type of movement during express workouts.


Another reason for its popularity is the versatility of the push-up. Standard push-ups, when performed correctly, are highly challenging. This means they are not an appropriate choice for every individual. However, there are plenty of push-up regressions that allow exercisers of all fitness levels to practice and progress. Some of our favourite regressions include knee push-ups, wall push-ups, and bench push-ups. There are also many progressions to try once you’ve mastered the standard push-up. For example, our personal trainers love incorporating plyometric push-ups, Spiderman push-ups, and weighted push-ups into in-home and virtual workouts.


Lastly, push-ups can be done anywhere, as long as you have your body and some space to move. Nielsen Fitness personal trainers often utilize push-ups when working with clients in small spaces or with those who often travel; push-ups are a hotel workout staple. Similar to practicality, this supports consistency. The easier it is to accomplish a workout, the more likely you are to get it done!


Though it can be intimidating to start, practicing regular push-ups is a fantastic way to build full-body strength and endurance while improving your overall function. If you’re nervous about whether you’re using correct form, check out our blog on how to do a push-up. And if you’d rather some hands-on support, our top-notch team of trainers is here to help.

We offer in-person training in Toronto, Collingwood, Ottawa & Hamilton and virtual personal training everywhere. Book your free first workout and assessment to start building towards your perfect push-up today!