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What do you need to do push-ups from the floor correctly? You need to monitor what muscles work – from neck to toes, the correct position of the hands and elbows. And most importantly (it seems obvious) – do not cheat! Try our training program for push-ups (table in the second part of the article) if you want to learn how to do many push-ups in a row.
Push-ups are not an exercise for beginners. Even if your friend says that he can do 40 push-ups in a row, then most likely he cannot do one with the right technique. And when they say about 80, then in fact it is about 20 without cheating. Sometimes cheating is used in crossfit, as train endurance and you need to do the maximum. We do not recommend this to you.
Despite the fact that push-ups seem to be a simple exercise, proper push-ups require good preparation and knowledge of the execution technique. You can certainly do and how much it will turn out – with incorrect setting of hands, sagging buttocks, etc. But the main thing is that the muscles get a normal load, and not a tick in the training diary. Otherwise, what is the point, what to do, who is to blame and other existential issues.
Proper push-ups from the floor – this is actually a bench press with 65-70% of the weight of your body. Can a beginner reap so much with good technique? Unlikely.
Push ups: which muscles work?
The main muscles that work with push-ups:
- large muscle of the press, anterior dentate muscle – work in static
- arms: deltas (shoulders), triceps, biceps
- chest muscles
- back muscles
- hips (quadriceps leading muscles) – work in static
- lying tricep press
In addition to the obvious muscles – arms and chest, it is very important to statically strain the muscles of the abdomen and hips during push-ups. They will help you maintain the correct technique for performing the exercise and not injure your back.
Scheme for correct push-ups
For the most busy – a training scheme briefly. Further, each item will be painted in detail so that there are no questions left on how to do push-ups correctly.
- The head is not bulged and not lowered down.
- The shoulders are not raised to the chin, the shoulder blades are a little flattened.
- The hips and muscles of the cortex (abs, back) are strained to hold the pelvis in a straight line with the trunk and heels.
- Buttocks and knees do not sag, quadriceps (not buttocks) are tense.
- Feet perpendicular to the floor.
- From this position we go down without spreading our elbows, almost touching the floor at the bottom.
The basics of the correct push-up technique
Rotation instead of linear motion
Push-ups – not pushing your body off the floor in a straight line. The body moves like a clock hand around an axis – feet, which do not come off the floor.
Keep your body in line?
Yes, the body needs to be kept in one straight line. But a common mistake – for one of the points of this straight line we take the top of the gluteal muscles instead of the hip joint.
The five main points of our straight line are the ankles, knees, the hip joint (and not the gluteal muscles), and the head. Buttocks will protrude upward over this straight line.
Natural curvature of the spine
The spine cannot be kept absolutely straight, as it is bent in the lumbar region. The mistake is to strain the buttocks and fully straighten the spine. If everything is correct, then having photographed yourself in the starting position for push-ups, you will be able to flip the photo vertically and the body position will be the same as if you were standing straight.
To avoid too much deflection, tighten the abdominal muscles, supporting the spine from below. Imagine that you are stretching the spine, not squeezing it.
Wrong: squeeze your buttocks
Often, trainers advise straining the buttocks so that the body does not sag. It is not right!
Right: tighten the quadriceps
You need to strain the quadriceps and the leading muscles of the hips. It is the muscles of the hips and cortex that help stabilize the spine. Tensioning the quadriceps also helps keep your knees straight. It helps to concentrate on the tension of the hips when you do complicated types of push-ups with extra weight.
Hips: Higher or lower
Ideally, the hips are on the same line with the spine. But it’s better they will be slightly higher than sagging down. The hips above – this is actually an even more difficult position, since you need to tighten the muscles more. She’s not perfect, but at least not traumatic.
But a very common problem is sagging hips. This is a signal that the muscles are not tight enough. And because of this, more load goes to the spine. So often do “lazy” push-ups, because you need to strain the muscles less and the amplitude of movement less. But as a result, you have an achievement – a lot of push-ups with which you kill your back and do not work out the necessary muscles. Time undoubtedly spent to good use.
Head and neck
To press a chin to a breast – trainers often advise. But it’s not right. The neck should be in a neutral position, on a straight line with the spine.
Keeping your arms apart at an angle of 70-90 degrees is wrong. This position is potentially traumatic for the joints. Most trainers advise 45 degrees – and that’s better. But ideally – 10-20 degrees to the body! The shoulder blades need to be reduced, lowered down – and the elbows almost pressed against the body (10-20 degrees).
It is this position of the shoulders (part of the hands from the elbow to the shoulder joint) that will help you open your chest. And this is the perfect position for push ups.
Feet stand on toes, only fingers touching the floor. During push-ups, the feet should be perpendicular to the floor. Attention to such details will help you keep your body in the right position for push-ups.
The position of the palms during push-ups plays the same role as the position of the feet during squats.
Fingers should be directed forward. But instead of touching the floor with your whole palm, try making them a “cup.”
Push up depth
Ideally, you should almost touch the floor at the bottom of the exercise. Maximum you can touch the floor with your chest (but not touch more correctly).
Pushups on the rings
Try to test your technique with push-ups on the rings. You should be able to do at least 80% of the number of push-ups that you do from the floor. If less – then you are doing push-ups from the floor incorrectly.
8 week push ups program
Want to increase amount of push ups? Try the 8-weeks training program. In the table below you can find following information: number of push-ups, rest between sets and the number of workouts per week. And below it is described in detail how and what to do. The table is very simple, but the most persistent will reach 8 weeks.
During these 8 weeks, reduce working weights in chest / shoulder exercises (heavy bench presses / wiring). Add exercises for the press (including statics – for example, a bar).
As much as you would like to make maximum repetitions, do not use cheating. Your task is to give a load to the muscles, increase your strength and muscle mass. This cannot be achieved without the correct technique for performing the exercise.
1st and 2nd week
Training. Do not pre-train your chest and shoulders. Do the maximum amount of correct push-ups with the perfect technique. This will be your base number of reps (“base”).
- Set a goal – to do 4 times more repetitions than the base. For example, base 10, goal 40. Do 40 repetitions in as many sets as you can. For example, the first approach is 10, rest, the second is 7, rest, etc. until you make a total of 40.
- In the first week, rest for 1 minute between sets, in the second – 30 seconds. Try to reduce the number of approaches each time (increasing the number of repetitions in each), but without cheating!
- The minimum number of workouts per week is 2.
- You can simultaneously do bench presses, bench press with a narrow grip, bench press, lifting dumbbells in front of you. But remember that working weights should be small.
3rd and 4th week
It’s time to increase the number of repetitions, the number of workouts and rest. By the third week, the muscles should adapt to the load and you can return the previous working weights to the usual training program in the gym.
- 3 workouts per week
- The total number of repetitions is 6 times the base. We had a base of 10, so now we need to do 60 according to the program. It seems that a lot, but just increase the number of approaches.
- Rest between sets is minimal, no more than 30 seconds.
- Do not forget about the right technique!
5 and 6 week
- 4 workouts per week.
- 15 seconds of rest between sets.
- The total number of repetitions is 8 times the base (in our example, 80).
- And again – the right technique! If you are reading, then training is more harmful than good. Do not waste your time.
7 and 8 week
The last two weeks are the most difficult in this program of push-ups, especially if you also do your usual program for all muscle groups. Persistence to push up week after week is not enough for everyone, but this is a real test of character. Nothing really worthwhile in life comes without hard work.
- 5 workouts per week
- 15 seconds of rest between sets. You can rest even less at the beginning of a workout and increase to 15 seconds at the end.
- The total number of repetitions is 10 times the base (in our example, it is 100). In 8 weeks you can go from 10 push-ups to 100!
- Try adding a few more sets with weights– for example, for legs.
- The correct technique.
As well as in the first week of the training program, do not preload the muscles. Now with the perfect technique, check how many push-ups you can do in a row. All the same 10 or 8 weeks have passed for good reason? You should see an excellent result – an increase in strength and endurance, strengthening the muscles of the chest, arms, back, abs and even legs!
What’s next? You can either simply maintain your level, or set yourself a new goal and repeat the program, using more repetitions as a “base” for the push-up table.
We hope that from now on you will only do the correct push-ups, feel what muscles work during the exercise (not only the pectorals!), And try to improve your maximum number with the help of our training program for 8 weeks. And again, for the hundredth time, for those who missed – follow the correct technique, turn on the right muscles and get the most out of push-ups from the floor. Next time, we’ll tell you about advanced push-ups.