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How to Improve Pushups

Posted by mylife | Posted in Fitness | Posted on 20-03-2012

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Pushups are one of the best exercises out there.

Period.

I’ve been doing them for as long as I can remember, and, to be honest I never really had trouble with them.  In fact, after I started getting serious about lifting weights, I got obscenely good at them.  That’s pretty much how most exercises work though: do a lot of one particular exercise or work the same muscle groups in another way, and you’ll get better at the original exercise you were trying to improve.

For instance, with pushups – just like any other exercise, you’ll get better at them by doing them a lot.  Practice makes perfect.  The number one way to improve a movement is to practice that exact movement.  It’s the specificity principle.

The other way to improve pushups would be to work the core, deltoid, and pectoral muscles with other exercises that also work these muscles.

When it comes down to it though, practicing pushups themselves is your best bet.  The problem that some people run into is that you kinda have to be good at them in the first place to do a ton of them.  Or, maybe not…

Here’s the thing: the simple strategy that I’m about to share with you allows you to practice pushups (to get better at them) in a gradually progressive way so that even if you struggle with them right now, you’ll be able to improve very quickly, consistently, and safely.  And as you improve, you’ll be able to do more and more, with less and less difficulty. Oh, and one more thing: this approach is ridiculously simple.

It utilizes what is called high frequency training and it’s almost guaranteed to make you much better at pushups than you are now.

Here’s the lowdown:

For people at the beginner and intermediate level (people who can do no more than 20 pushups non-stop)

Start by doing just two pushups per day, once a day for the first week.  Keep doing everything else that you’re doing unchanged (workouts, sleep, etc).  After the first week, add two pushups to your daily total each week.  So, one the second week you would perform 4 reps per day, then the week after that 6 reps per day, then 8, etc.  At the end of 50 weeks (or approximately one year) you’ll be doing 100 pushups nonstop if you stick with this simple weekly progressive ladder.

For people who are at the intermediate to advanced level (people who can do at least 50 pushups non-stop)

Start by doing just one pushup per day.  Two days later perform two pushups, and then every other day after that add one pushup to your daily total.  So, for instance, if you start the program on a Monday with one pushup, then on Wednesday you’ll be doing two pushups, Friday three pushups, Sunday 4 pushups and so on.  If you continue with this pattern every day for one year, you’ll be doing 183 pushups non stop at the end of the 365 day period.

The beautiful thing about both of these programs is that either one will make you much better at pushups than you are now, and they don’t interfere with anything else that you’re already doing workout-wise.  They’re progressive but gradual enough to work, keep working, and keep you injury free.  The body adapts if you force it to – especially if you’re smart about it.

And slow and steady really does win the race.

Give it a shot.

- Andrew

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