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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-22-2010, 08:10 AM   #11
Richard Paul Ham-Williams
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

Things to consider are how heavy you are, it goes without saying but the heavier you are the harder this exercise will be.

Also worth thinking about is how quickly do you fatigue in other pushing movements; if you show fast twitch dominance characteristics then you may well never get high push up numbers but your strength could be phenomenal.

Diet, sleep and fatigue management are no light matters either.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:42 PM   #12
David Fletcher
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

I've gotten good results by doing a 3x10 of pushups with increasingly difficult variations. I started with normal pushups, then moved on to foot elevated on parallettes, and now I'm doing ring pushups. Pretty soon I'm gonna move onto Bulgarian ring pushups.

There's also a lot of really good core work by increasing the difficulty instead of just increasing quantity. Depends on your goals though.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:03 PM   #13
Kent Newland
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

I've gotten good results from doing tabata pushups as well. This really ups the intensity of a pushup workout. That and pyramids are for sure the way to go if you want to do high numbers of pushups.

Something else I liked to do to help increase my pushup numbers is load up 135 on the incline bench and rep out with it. I feel the incline bench is more of a relevant exercise, athletically speaking, because the direction the hands are moving in real life is rarely straight up and down. This, and the fact that it distributes the load across the deltoids more than the flat bench makes me feel that it is both a safer exercise and more worthwhile for pushups, APFT, and other athletic endeavors.

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Old 12-23-2010, 10:48 AM   #14
Michael Henry
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

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Originally Posted by Ian Nigh View Post
I have a good friend who can bench 1.5 x bodyweight 10 times, but has serious trouble doing more than 10 pushups. He weighs 110kg and also has a hard time with pull-ups.

If you want to get better at push ups, train push ups. Here is a 6 week training program which has brought good results to many:
http://hundredpushups.com/ (WFS)
Words of wisdom. Want more push ups, do more pushups. And if you are only maxing out on 20 or so, IMO, the only variations you need to be doing are regular push ups and push ups from your knees after you reach muscle failure so you can teach your body how to do them, from a muscle memory and endurance standpoint. You have a specific requirement, train push ups specifically.

And if you have form issues, there isn't any need to post a video. If you are taking an APFT obviously you are around other people who are doing push ups. Ask for some help from them. Have them show you want is messed up with your form.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:22 PM   #15
Adam Carlson
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

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Originally Posted by Michael Henry View Post
And if you have form issues, there isn't any need to post a video. If you are taking an APFT obviously you are around other people who are doing push ups. Ask for some help from them. Have them show you want is messed up with your form.
Posting a video never hurts, IMHO. My reasoning is that while yes, the OP might be around people who are doing push ups all the time, they might have different needs that people aren't picking up on.

One possible thing to look into is elbow positioning. Some people do well with the elbows tucked in closer to the body, while others do a lot better with the arms farther out from the body, like a bench press width. My training buddy and I have different preferences for push ups: he likes the elbows close style while I want the bench press width. We both can knock out tons of push ups, but when we switch positions, we can't get as many and/or the shoulders start to hurt.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:54 PM   #16
Troy Becker
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

What we really need here is the OP's stats and background
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:39 PM   #17
Lee A Koboroff
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

This is a technique I used in the military when my pushups sucked. It's canecdotal and I have no hard evidence, but it did work well for me.

It's a 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off of 3 sets AMRAP with 1 min rest between sets.

ie: lets say your max is 20, then it's something like:
20, 1 min rest, 15, 1 min rest, 10.

My pushup numbers increased from 20 to 50 over approx 1 month.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:38 PM   #18
Troy Becker
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

How about 5-10 times a day drop and do 5-10 push-ups? Once you can do 30, drop and do 15 at a time a whole bunch of times spread out through the day. It doesn't take long, and I'm pretty sure the same thing helped with my pull-ups way back when I was a weakling and had a pull-up bar in my bedroom doorway.
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