Taking a Closer Look at Strength Building with Pushups
There are a lot of different methods that can be used for strength building and pushups will often top that list. Pushups are frequently the top option when it comes to traditional strength building. Even though there are many other types of exercise that can help with this goal, if your goal is to get stronger, this move will come up at one point or another.
Though the odds are that pushups aren’t the first things that pop into your mind for exercise overall, when your goal is back or shoulder strength, this exercise will easily fit in your top three. Of course, many people imagine heavy weights and dumbbells for their shoulders, back and arms. However, when it comes to using your own personal body weight for your training, you know what move you’ll think of first.
Strength Building with Pushups and Body Weight Exercise
While that type of method might be helpful, many bodybuilders are finding that they can also experience some considerable strength building benefits from using body weight exercise. One of the most commonly quoted stories when it comes to making a case for using pushups and body weight exercises to help to build strength is former college and NFL football player (and former professional mixed martial artist) Herschel Walker.
Walker was the most conditioned athlete in the national football league, and he stuck to a solid regimen of doing 1,000 pushups every day. Of course, that’s likely a great deal more than what most of us would do – particularly when first getting started. That said, it still shows that pushups can be a central component in a strength building workout.
What Benefits Do Pushups Really Provide?
Strength building with pushups can offer benefits to a number of different muscles. If you choose the traditional form of the exercise, the primary benefits will be to your upper body strength. The shoulders, pectoral muscles and triceps are the primary target. That said, when you do them properly (keep in mind that you may not be, so a personal trainer can help you to get them right as you get started), you can also work your core, including your abs and lower back.
Another benefit to building strength with pushups is that you don’t need any equipment. All you need is yourself and a space on the floor as big as you are tall. Once you have that – and unless you’re on a bus during rush hour, you likely have that – you’re all set.
Furthermore, they don’t take a lot of time. It’s unlikely that you’ll be doing 1,000 daily pushups, particularly right at the start. If you do a much more typical amount, you still won’t need to put a lot of time into your effort. Each one takes only a handful of seconds. Even if you’re able to do dozens of them, you could still easily complete the full workout and still have time to grab a coffee for yourself during your break at work.
How to Get Started
To be able to use pushups for strength building, you will need to make sure that you are using this type of workout properly. The following are some helpful steps to make certain that pushups are playing the right role in your overall fitness program, depending on your goals.
- Step 1 – Decide on your workout program. If you will be using pushups as a supplement exercise on top of other forms of daily workout, then do between 50 and 100 pushups per day. If you are seeking to use the technique specifically for strength training, do between 500 and 1,000 pushups in a day, but do them only every other day. Do not try to do that number of pushups every day or you will risk pulling a muscle or causing yourself another form of injury. You need the recovery time in between for the best and safest results.
- Step 2 – Eat for strength building. Consume a good amount of protein, but not too much. To build and repair muscle, an adult should consume between 125 and 175 grams of protein on a daily basis.
- Step 3 – Shake things up. Do variations on the exercises to make sure that your pushups remain effective. Beginners can do wrist pushups, incline pushups, and regular pushups. If you have more experience, you can add the Aztec, Hindu, and clapping forms of the exercise. You may also want to try doing the movements extremely slowly for the best possible results.
Is Strength Building With Pushups Safe?
Any exercise and workout comes with certain risks. These can include safety risks in case you are doing a workout that is too challenging for your fitness level. You may also find that if you do the same exercise over and over, you place yourself at risk of plateauing. Moreover, if you don’t do an exercise properly, you can risk injury because you’ve used the wrong form of technique.
Speaking with your doctor or a personal trainer and using a trainer’s guidance to be sure you’re doing your pushups properly can help you to avoid unnecessary risks which are the same for these exercises as they are for any other kind of workout.