To get the most out of your push-ups, you first need to make sure you perform them correctly. Then do as many pushups as you can handle without too much effort. Once your muscles are used to it, you can challenge yourself by doing more pushups. This will allow you to build more muscle. You can further challenge yourself by adding weights and varying your pushups.
Method 1 of 3: Doing the push-up
Step 1. Make sure your technique is correct
When performing the push-up, your lower back should be straight, i.e. not arching or arching, and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Your elbows should stay close to your body, that is, at an angle of 20 to 40 degrees to your stomach. When lowering yourself, make sure your chest is as close to the floor as possible.
- Tighten your stomach, legs and buttocks. This prevents your back from arching or sagging.
- Don't let your hips sag to the floor. They should stay at the same level as your shoulders.
Step 2. Breathe correctly
When you perform the push-up, make sure to inhale as you go down. Then exhale again as you push yourself up.
If you're having a hard time remembering to breathe, count out loud as you do the pushups. The talking will force you to breathe while doing the pushups
Step 3. Start easy
Start with as many pushups as you can easily handle. This is called a set. Then do two more sets. Make sure to rest 60 seconds (or more) between sets. Do this three to four times a week, or every other day, until you get used to it.
For example, if you can't do more than seven full pushups, start with three sets of seven pushups every other day until you get used to them
Step 4. Add more pushups to it
Once you can do your normal number of pushups fairly easily, add three to five pushups. Adding more pushups will challenge your muscles and cause you to build more muscle mass.
For example, if you can easily do seven push-ups, add three push-ups. Then do three sets of 10 pushups every other day to further develop your muscles
Step 5. Stick to your routine
Make sure you stick to your routine. If you find it difficult to maintain a routine, ask a friend to join you. Alternatively, you can also hire a personal trainer to help you achieve your goal.
- For example, if you've been doing pushups three days a week, don't change your routine by suddenly reducing it to twice a week.
- Depending on the intensity of your routine, you may start to see results within one to two months.
Method 2 of 3: Add resistance
Step 1. Wear a vest with weights
Weighted vests are a great way to add resistance to your pushups and further develop your muscles. Pull the weighted vest on as tight as you can without it being uncomfortable. This way you prevent the vest from sagging and hindering your movements. Do your normal number of push-ups.
You can buy weighted vests at the sports shop
Step 2. Use a weighted backpack
This is a great way to add resistance, and it's an alternative to wearing a weighted vest. Fill a backpack with books, sacks of rice, or other heavy items until the weight of the backpack is equal to or less than 20% of your body weight. Do your normal number of push-ups.
- For example, suppose you weigh 60 kilos, then your backpack can be a maximum of 12 kilos.
- It is important to keep the weight within 20% of your body weight to avoid straining your spine, shoulders and elbows.
Step 3. Ask a friend to put pressure on your back
While you're doing the normal pushups, have someone else place a hand on your upper back. Ask to apply pressure to your back as you come up from the pushup.
Make sure your friend applies constant pressure with each push-up
Method 3 of 3: Alternate your pushups
Step 1. Do oblique push-up
In this type of push-up, you place your feet on an elevation. Start by elevating your feet about 10-30 inches off the floor. Perform a normal push-up.
- Use a stack of books or some other type of platform to place your feet on.
- The higher you place your feet, the harder the push-up will be.
Step 2. Do a single leg push-up
Get into normal push-up position. Make sure your back is straight, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your elbows are pressed against your sides. Then lift one of your legs and do a regular push-up.
Do a certain number of push-ups that you can handle. Then repeat the series of pushups, lifting your other leg
Step 3. Try the diamond push-up
Place your hands on the floor under your chest. Press your thumbs and fingers together to form a diamond with your hands. Make sure your legs and back are straight. Perform a normal push-up.
Diamond pushups are great for training your triceps
Step 4. Try pressing yourself with one hand
For this push-up, place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Place one hand more towards the center of your chest. Place your other hand behind your back. Then lower yourself and push yourself up again. Make sure to keep your elbow close to your body during the push-up.
If one-handed pushups are too difficult for you, train yourself by doing regular pushups, but with your hands close together, like the diamond. This will help you transition from the regular two-handed pushups to the heavier one-handed pushups
Step 5. Try a plyometric pushup
Get into the standard push-up position. Lower yourself to the floor as you would a regular push-up. When you come back up, do it as quickly and with as much force as you can until your hands lift off the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Challenge yourself by clapping your hands after pushing off the pushup
- Make sure to drink plenty of water between sets.
- Do push-ups when you have nothing to do; for example during TV commercials, before you take a shower or during your lunch break.