Today my arms hurt. So do my chest, abs, and even my upper legs. Why? Push ups. You may just think of push ups as a simple body-weight exercise that you do to work your upper arms, but in this post I will show you push up variations and a push up routine routine that will leave you breathless, sweaty, and sore all over. Ye with weak constitutions, turn back now. Next stop, Jamie’s Push Up Challenge.
Your Push Up Guide – The Basics
First let’s look at some basic information about the lowly push up. This is Push Ups 101. This is Push Ups Boot Camp. This is the Push up Guide you never knew you needed. OK, enough with all the hyperbole. Here are answers to a few push up questions you may have wondered about.
What is the best push up form and push up position?
As we’ll see in a few moments, there is no single right way to do it. There are tons of push up forms and positions that target different muscles. The only common rules are, don’t use your back muscles to raise or lower yourself, don’t engage in sudden, jerky movements, and don’t push beyond your current abilities to the point of injury. Your abilities will increase slowly week-by-week if you stick at it. Not the sexiest answer, but that’s the truth. Pushing too hard all at once will lead to setbacks. Slow and steady wins the race here.
How often should I do push ups?
I will turn a few heads with this advice, but don’t do them everyday. I’ll repeat it. Do not do push ups everyday. Shocked right? Well here’s the thing. Your muscles don’t actually grow during exercise. I know it looks like they do, but that is just the extra blood flooding into the tissue. Instead, the real muscle growth occurs during your rest time. If your goal is to get stronger and get bigger, then you should never hit the same exercise everyday. Rather, you should do your push up workout every other day to maximize the benefits.
What are the benefits of push ups?
Why should we do push ups? Weight loss. Muscle mass gains. Self-discipline. Or in other words, you’ll look great, feel great, and know inside that you are great.
How many calories does a push up burn?
A single push up burns approximately 1 calorie.
What is the Push Up Record?
The record for the most non-stop push ups stands at 10,507. Damn, son.
What is the Most Useless Push Up Trivia?
Mexicans call push ups “lagartijas” which means “lizards” because, well, obviously…
Jamie’s Push Up Challenge
There are tons of different push ups styles out there. But I’ve combined my all-time favorites into a simple, brutal push up challenge. Here’s how you do it.
Step 1: Stormy Seas Push Ups
You are a ship at sea, and boy, the seas are rough. Instead of lowering your body with both arms as you do in standard push up, you lower only one arm, keeping the other arm in the same position you would be in at the top of a standard push up. Raise yourself back up. Then lower yourself with the opposite arm. If you get the motion right, you’ll feel your self tipping from left to right like a ship in stormy seas.
Step 2: Triangle Push Ups
These are evil. Form a triangle by touching your index fingers to each other and thumbs to each other under your chest. Then push yourself up and down. Enjoy (evil laugh).
Step 3: Pirate Push Ups
Do a standard push up with one twist. Lift one of your legs of the ground and hold it up in the air instead. Alternate from leg to leg as you do the push ups.
How Many Push Ups Should You Do?
Let’s figure out where your current fitness level is at. Start by doing 1 Stormy Seas Push Up for each leg. Total: 2 Pushups. Then do 1 Triangle Push Up. Total 1 Push Up. Finish with 1 Pirate Push Up for each leg. Total 2 Pushups. Your grand total is 5 Push Ups.
That was easy, right. Well if it was easy, add 1 of each. That’s 4 Stormy Seas Push Ups, 2 Triangle Push Ups, and 4 Pirate Push Ups – a total of 10. If that’s easy, go for 15. If that’s easy, go for 20. I started at 40 and now am at 90. My goal is to reach 150. Find out where you are at. Do the push up challenge once every other day. Aim to level up your push ups once or twice a month.
If you love the idea of using body weights at home instead of shelling out lots of money each month for a gym membership, then get Mark Lauren’s You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises. I absolutely love this book and use it as a source of inspiration for designing my own workout plans. The author is an absolute bad-ass, in the best meaning of the word. Here’s the bio from the book.
Mark Lauren has effectively prepared over 700 trainees for the extreme physical demands of the most elite levels of the special operations community. He is a Military Physical Training Specialist, Special Operations Combat Controller, triathlete, and mixed martial artist. Lauren broke, and still holds, the Department of Defense’s long standing “underwater record” by swimming 133 meters, on one breath, subsurface, for 2 minutes and 23 seconds, until losing consciousness.
Mark’s book is all you need to learn even more about push ups and other body weight exercises and get yourself into killer shape all from your own living room.
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