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Old 12-18-2010, 12:47 AM   #1
KevinBrown
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Trouble doing push-ups

I've had alot of trouble doing push-ups and usually both in normal exercise and on my APFT I can only max out at about 20 if that before I experience muscle failure. In addition, my push-ups are usually labored and difficult to complete before I hit muscle failure.

Now, I'm trying to think what else the issue might be because I've been told I have issues with my form, however could it be a strength problem also?

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:50 AM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

Could be insufficient strength, could be bad form, could be both. If people have told you that you have form issues, that would be a good place to start. Got video?

Katherine
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:16 AM   #3
Adam Carlson
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

a push up, when done correctly, is hard exercise. I think too many people look at it lightly and don't really give it the credit it deserves.

Post a video if you can, and we'll do what we can to help. How are your lifts? Press, bench, etc.? That might give us some more insight as to what is going on.

One last thing: how often do you work on your push ups?
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:59 AM   #4
Ian Nigh
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

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)
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:08 AM   #5
Meghan Reid
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

You can do assisted pushups with bands attached to the pullup bar. But since you already have an okay quantity of unassisted, perhaps you could start doing weighted pushups in smaller quantities to build strength?
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Strength is more than just the number of plates on the bar. It is everything that is overcome with each lift. - Liz Edmonds My log (WFS).
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
Krieger Piloto
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

my push up max is 42 right now....... and it is increasing in my every workout session......2 weeks earlier it was 30 and now its 42...... what i do is normal arm postition with knees locked in means tricep work included......i find it hard but feels good.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:23 PM   #7
Mark Jones
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinBrown View Post
I've had alot of trouble doing push-ups and usually both in normal exercise and on my APFT I can only max out at about 20 if that before I experience muscle failure. In addition, my push-ups are usually labored and difficult to complete before I hit muscle failure.

Now, I'm trying to think what else the issue might be because I've been told I have issues with my form, however could it be a strength problem also?

Any thoughts?
Kevin,

Make sure that your back is straight when you're in the PU position. Think of your body as a "board." Straight down and then straight up. No "bow" in your back or sway.

As for sheer numbers, try a PU pyramid. 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1. less than 5 seconds in between. For a nice program, check out books by Stew Smith who is a former SEAL. While he has SEAL PT, he also has PFT stuff, police academy stuff and a host of others.

Here's his site for reference - http://www.stewsmith.com/

I know that a PFT is a unique animal and that it kinda sorta fits into the CF methodology, but not really. Keep doing CF and check out Stew's site and I'm sure you'll get there.

Good luck!

Coach MJ
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:47 AM   #8
Matt Payne
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

Also make sure you are doing a full ROM push up. I see about 1% of people when doing a push up actually get ROM. I like " hand release " push ups that require you to very quickly lift your hands up as your chest momentarily touches the ground. Great for ROM. Most people when doing these see their max drop a lot.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:34 AM   #9
Marco Pineda
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Carlson View Post
a push up, when done correctly, is hard exercise. I think too many people look at it lightly and don't really give it the credit it deserves.

Post a video if you can, and we'll do what we can to help. How are your lifts? Press, bench, etc.? That might give us some more insight as to what is going on.

One last thing: how often do you work on your push ups?
So true. I remember in my younger days being able to bang out 50 straight. I realized quickly that my standard for push ups back then is quite different, not quite chest to floor and definitely not hollow body, they just don't compare. If you are doing them per Crossfit standards they will be difficult.

Adam's last point is good as well. If you at least throw push ups into your warm up routine, you should see quick improvement.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:46 AM   #10
Dave Carpenter
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Re: Trouble doing push-ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinBrown View Post
I've had alot of trouble doing push-ups and usually both in normal exercise and on my APFT I can only max out at about 20 if that before I experience muscle failure. In addition, my push-ups are usually labored and difficult to complete before I hit muscle failure.

Now, I'm trying to think what else the issue might be because I've been told I have issues with my form, however could it be a strength problem also?

Any thoughts?
Kevin, Before I joined the Air Force, I had real issues doing more than 30 push-ups in a row. one of the things that really helped was to do 30 seconds each of diamond, standard and wide pushups. Don't worry if you can't complete all 30 seconds, just stay in front leaning rest. And as has been stated before, go the full ROM.
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