When we surveyed some of our go-to trainers for their favorite move to sculpt arms and shoulders (no equipment necessary), half of them recommended the same exact move—and it's one you're probably pretty familiar with: pushups.
Okay, so maybe we didn't just blow your mind with this exercise you learned in P.E. But hear us out: If professional muscle makers are recommending this move for a toned upper body, why waste your time doing anything else?
The main superpower of the pushup is its effectiveness at targeting your triceps and deltoids, says strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle, owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Woburn, Massachusetts. And bonus: This exercise also engages your core and your chest, says Boyle. Yay for multitasking moves!
Michelle Lovitt, a celebrity trainer and Asics America conditioning coach, says one of her favorite perks of the move, besides its muscle-toning abilities, is the fact that you can do it just about anywhere. Plus, switching up the move with new pushup variations when you get bored keeps your muscles from getting used to the same old, same old.
This tried-and-true exercise is also a good indicator of whether you need to strengthen other areas of your body, too, says Tony Gentilcore, certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. If your lower back arches too much, it could mean that you need to improve on your core strength, he says.
So you get the point: This move is kind of a big deal. Now check out how to do the perfect pushup for arms and shoulders that just won't quit.