Thread: Push-ups

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    Default Push-ups

    Can anyone advise. When using push-ups as a daily part of my workout, do I need to mix up the type of stance I use? For example If I do decline push-ups will that give me a good overall development of my upper body? Do I need to rotate between standard and declined? What will be the most effective? Also should I do them in reps/sets or just a certain amount per day

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    may not be exactly what you are looking for, but I do a set of normal, then a set of wide grip, then a set of diamond. Seems to hit most of the areas i'm goin for.
    "A pint of sweat, saves a gallon of blood"

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    Yes, by all means you should mix up your hand placement (wide, narrow, normal, staggered, etc.). Also mix up your foot position: wide, together, hip-width, elevated (upper body elevated also). Once you get strong enough, put your shins on top of a Swiss (stability) ball. Then progress to your feet on top of the ball and finally to your hands on the ball. And don't forget rotational pushups (w/hands and feet on ground).

    A word of caution...a lot of shoulder in people that train is due to too much pushing (chest & shoulder work) and not enough pulling. The best thing would be to balance yourself out with a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 pulling to pushing exercises.
    Yours in health & safety,
    Rich Meyer, Strength Coach
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    The best push-up I have found is to wrap some webbing around a something and use them as "straps" to push off against. I use a smith machine with a barbell, wrap some webbing around it and and dangle it about 6 to 12 inches off the ground and have at it. You may have to place your feet on some blocks or a bench to ad some difficulty, but it is alot harder than the standard push-up.

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    The push-ups I enjoy the most come in a box of 12. I try not to do more than 4 or 5 though...Gotta watch my figure!




    Kevin
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    What exact fitness goals are you trying to attain? Just doing push ups isn't going to get you much.

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    I've had to add weight to start seeing more strength with pushups, they started getting easier and less effective as the muscle adapted/strengthed to the workout. I used a backpack with a 25lbs. plate in it, as high up on my back as possible. It feels like it felt when I first started doing pushups with just my own bodyweight. This works awesome with pullups and situps/crunches as well.

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    Cool Pyramids

    Try doing 1-3 of pyramid pushups. Start from a standing position, hands to the floor, walk hands out to a pushup position and do 10-14 pushups then return to the start position without letting you knees touch the floor. Walk back out to the P.U position and do 2 less than the first set. Continue the pattern until you get down to 10/8/6/4/2 pushups.
    The key is to maintain perfect form, no compensating. Also start with the hardest P.U. you can do. Order of difficulty is Clapping, Alternating single leg, regular, kneeling. As soon as you begin to lose form or slow down then bump down to an easier P.U. I have never had a FF not bump down and most end up on knees, egos are left at the door. The beauty of this is that you can have several people doing the set at their own level of difficulty and its easy to keep track of progress.
    You can also add rollercoasters instead: starting on hands/feet with your body in a V position (downward dog) bent you arms and bring head/chest down to the floor( knees straight throughout) and then arch up as the hips come down, as if you are going under a bar. Then bring hips back up to the start position. I'll have my guys alternate P.U.'s and rollercoaster or do either or. Rollercoasters work all angles of the chest
    Another variation is to do pushups on 2 basketballs to work on stability.

    www.adapttraining.com

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    Thumbs up Try this

    I think that pushups are overrated. If the main purpose of pushups are to develop strength, size and power performance so be it. Without shoulder stability, pushups are useless. Try a normal pushup with a T STAB. A T STAB PUSHUP is when the body rotates to either the left or right on one hand, while the ohter hand is straight up in the air. Do about 10-15 reps in between your normal circut of exercise. This one way to develop great shoulder and chest str. If size is what you want, high volume of weight and reps is key. To get big you must train big. If power is what you want, Explosive pushups is key(push your whole body off the floor). Power movements is very short but explosive you don't have to do high reps during power exercise. This is one example of power circut, normal bench press right into pushups with claps in the air, into situps. 5 reps on bench, 10 explosive pushups, 50 situps, 3sets. Be aware this is not for everyone. Let me know what you think.

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    Thumbs up agreed

    I totally agree with the last reply. Shoulder stability is key. At my practice (FF/PT) there is a definite progression to any exercise. One element is doing kneeling P.U.'s and rollercoasters as well as Plank manuevers lateral and straight as you refered to . We focus on developing proper form and endurance first then introduce demand by increasing the degree of difficulty. The next element is increased range of motion by doing the exercises on platforms/benches to go deeper and on balls to add instability. Once a client can do this level then we go to weights and plyometric exercises such as from a wheelbarrow position ( w/ a partner) perform hopping pushups forward then backwards.
    We have tests to make sure each level is progressed to safely. The main thing is to address all the elements of performance and change the demand placed on the body: range of motion, endurance, proper form, strength, power

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    Talking Thanks

    I am glad there are some that think outside the box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The1andOnly
    What exact fitness goals are you trying to attain? Just doing push ups isn't going to get you much.
    Tell that to Herschel Walker. All he did was pushups and situps (1000/day, admitedly) and his fitness level goes w/out comment.

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    Don't forget that Herschel Walker was doing much more than pushups and sit-ups....He has a book out on fitness probablly published 15 years ago, but a great book. I remember reading that his coach used to chain tires to him and have him do sprints. This guy was a workout machine and pushups and situps were like a warmup or cool down for him!

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    I would do about 200-300 push-ups a day. Do them anyway you want decline, regular, wide-grip, and narrow-grip. I like to mix them up. You will notice an improvement in your strength in a very short time. It sounds like a lot but when you start do them you will find itís really not that much.

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    Talking Hardest first

    I have my guys start their sets with the hardest they can do: clapping, alternating single leg, hands on basket balls and when they lose form drop to the next hardest level. This seems to work really well, keeps the number of sets down. For those "over the top" try from a wheelbarrow position ( partner required) plyometric pushups moving forward then backwards 10-20 reps. Again form is key, no hip momentum allowed. This would need a matted floor.

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    Get together with either another person or a group of guys and use a deck of cards. Face cards=10 pushups, Ace equals 11, and a joker means you can deal the next card to any player you want. Makes doing pushups almost a team sport and a lil easier mentalily

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    I have heard that you should rest a day between workouts. Everyone here seems to say the same thing....do pushups every day. Is this the best way???
    I ask because I am trying to increase my pushups, but because of tendonitis in right shoulder, have hit a plateau. Doctor told me is was OK to do pushups with the problem in my shoulder. I have been doing pushups everyother day.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    Default tendonitis

    I have my guys back off from pushups/bench activities and work on scapular stability facedown on a swiss ball or bench. Also endurance shoulder work using a dowel doing sets of 50 reps. Press and pullovers. Usually a week or two does the trick.Then slowly progress to pushups starting with kneeling pushuyps w/ high reps 30-50. once these can be done w/o pain then work back up to regular pushups

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    Thanks ogomez,

    I do special exercises for my shoulder. But the tendonitis is chronic. The exercises help with the pain, but I just can not seem to increase my strength in this shoulder. I my go see a trainer for some help in this area. Anyway, thanks for the help and take care.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    Default Shoulder Problems from too much Pec work...

    For the most part, remember that people tend to train their push muscles more than their pull muscles. They over train chest/pecs, and don't do as much lats/rhomboids. This leads to overly short muscles on the front, and internal rotation of the shoulder joint. Posture changes, to a forward lean... and palms face back when standing straight up. (They should face in). Try to do equal reps, sets (and edge for)weights with the front of your body as you do your back. YOu might have to DO MORE PULL exercises for a while... for you back. It might take a while to even out!

    Now for the shoulder stuff:

    If anything listed below hurts you, stop, try lowering your weight. IF it still hurts, then or after, ice it for 20 minutes, and write me back. These are small muscles, with very specific actions. Be precise with your form. Form is everything here, weight is nothing.

    Here are the exercises I would recommend:

    1. Supraspinatus/Empty can:
    Weight: 3-8 lb. dumbbell. Donít push this- itís a tiny muscle
    Reps: 2 sets of 12
    Form: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Do one arm at a time. Raise your stiff arm in front, up away from your body to shoulder height, no further.. Rotate the hand inward until you are in a thumb down position. In that thumb down position, lower the weight until your thumb hits your thigh. Raise it, never above the shoulder level. Move slowly. Do 12 reps. Do the other arm, and repeat both.

    2. Subscapularis:
    Weight: 10-30 lbs. Form is important here, so try it light first. I do 20 lbs. with a ďhealthyĒ shoulder.
    Reps: 2 sets of 12
    Machine: Set a cable pulley machine so the handle is at shoulder level. Use a D ring handle.
    Form: Your back is to the machine. Grab the handle with a stiff arm. Raise the stiff arm out in front of you. The cable should run under your arm pit. The arm should be in the up position of the previous exercise, only palm down. Elbow locked, hand out at shoulder level. Hold your body and trunk stiff. Now translate ONLY your shoulder forward. Of course the arm and hand will move to, but itís just a shift forward, leaving the rest of your body still. Your scapula will track along your ribcage, and your humeral head will push forward.You should feel this only lightly in under your armpit, actually in the front (anterior surface) of your scapula (shoulder blade).

    3. External rotators: teres minor and infraspinatus:
    Note: This is described for the right shoulder. You should do all of these on both shoulders anyway. But, this is only going to be described this way. You can then do the same thing on the other shoulder.
    Weight: 10-20 lbs. I use 15 when my shoulder feels good, less when it doesnít.
    Reps: 2 sets of 12. Do Right arm, then left, and repeat.
    Machine: Set cable pulley machine so the pulley and handle is at elbow height. Set your weight. This exercise can irritate, so better to err on the light side then the heavy. D ring handle.
    Form: Stand with your left shoulder to the machine, your right shoulder away. Hold the handle in your right hand with palm facing the machine, elbow bent to 90*. Glue your elbow to your ribcage. Keep your shoulder down and away from your ear. The inside of your forearm should be on your belly to start with. Move away from the machine until the slack is taken out. Now externally rotate your right upper arm, lifting the weight until your knuckles point straight ahead, now go a little further. Donít force it into external rotation, it will hurt you. Lower the weight. Do 12 and go do the other arm, and repeat both.

    4. Internal Rotators: pec. minor and subscapularis:
    Note: This too is described for the right shoulder. You should do all of these on both shoulders also. But, this is only going to be described this way. You can then do the same thing on the other shoulder.
    Reps: 2 sets of 12
    Weight: internal rotators are stronger and less vulnerable than externals, so I go a little heavierÖ 20-30 lbs. for a guyÖ I use 20 when I feel good, and less when I donít. Know yourself.
    Machine: Leave machine in the same position as last exercise. Turn around so your right shoulder is to the machine. Glue your elbow to your ribcage. Keep your shoulder down away from your ear. Bend your elbow to 90*, knuckles pointing forward, and palm facing away from the machine. Step away from the machine to take the slack out of the cable. Rotate upper arm in to lift weight until the inside of the forearm is on your belly. Return the weight to almost touching the stack. Again, do not allow external rotation to the point of discomfort. Repeat 12 times. Do the other arm. Do both again.

    Read this again, sitting in front of the computer, do the exercises in the air. Do it a couple of times. Then when you go to the gym, you should be able to duplicate them.
    Does this make sense? I hope it helps.

    Oh, by the way, anyone else who reads this: this is a great warm up before any upper body workout. It takes only 3-5 minutes once you get the hang of it, and it can save you problems later. IF, however, you already have a problem, try to get help from a good Physical therapist or ortho and an okay before you go at this. You could even go as far as to print this out for them and ask if it's okay for you...

    Dr. Jen Milus, DC
    www.fireagility.com

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    Some great advice in this thread!

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