What Happens To Your Back When You Do Pushups Every Day

Pushups are a great exercise you can do with no equipment or gym membership. Almost all exercises are either a pull or push exercise, and the pushups are, well, a push exercise. This is because nearly all the muscles in your body are working when doing this exercise — chest, arms, shoulders, back, and core. Strengthening these muscles will help you with any pushing movement you need to do in your daily life, and engaging in a push-pull workout routine is common for bodybuilders and athletes (via Health). 

Byrdie adds that pushups work your legs, too. They are a whole-body exercise, and nearly anyone can do them. To use proper form during your pushup, think of it as a moving plank. Other than bending your elbows to lower your body toward the floor, nothing else is bending. Start in plank form with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart and palms and toes on the floor. Your body needs to be in line from your head to your ankles. Engage your stomach and glute muscles, and keep your gaze above your fingers. Bend your elbows and allow your body to lower, so your chest is hovering above the floor, almost touching. Then, push your body back up into the starting position. Doing pushups every day will have your back thanking you. 

Pushups and your back

Nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain, and 16 million have chronic or persistent back pain (per the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute). Back pain, a common problem, can limit certain daily activities.

NBC News recommends doing scapula pushups to reduce back pain. Follow the directions above for your pushup form and exercise, and squeeze your shoulder blades together to make them scapula pushups. Imagine a ball on your upper back between your shoulders, and try to pinch it with your shoulder blades. Engaging your shoulder blades will cause you to move up and down, but won't have your nose touching the floor — it's a slighter movement. 

Strong core muscles can prevent back pain and reduce your risk of back injuries. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation looked at 142 participants with chronic low back pain. They completed a back school program with an emphasis on pain coping strategies and core strengthening exercises. The benefits included significant improvement in pain, health, and disability. Since pushups improve your core strength, they are recommended for reducing back pain.