It is not comfortable staying in shape these days. Our jobs are demanding more from us, our workweeks are getting longer, and our family & friends are taking up more of our precious free time. And yet, in the same breath, we all want to have perfect bodies, too.
We all know fitness gains cannot be made without a concerted effort and a disciplined regime. In part 1 of the 4 part mini-series, we will first look at your current fitness level through an initial test. Part 2 then introduces the 8 weeks program and encourages you with real-life success stories. Part 3 outlines different training plans from beginner to advanced athlete levels. Once you found strength through the regime, you may explore the last section, which details various alternatives push-up.
The Greatest Muscle Behind The Push-Up
The most significant benefits behind push-ups are injury prevention & effective cardio. Through regular training, muscles, and connective tissue around a specific area become more muscular, reducing the risk of injury. Besides, bone density is also improved.
So, what are the muscles that are engaged in a push-up? Pectorals / Pecs is a fan-shape muscle at the chest. These muscles are notably responsible for significant actions such as arm wrestling, lifting/throwing, and raising your arms to the sides of your body. Triceps, located on the back of your upper arm, is responsible for straightening the arm. Serratus Anterior / “boxer’s muscle”, found on the surface of the upper ribs, is mainly responsible for the protraction of the shoulder blade. Abs is the large, straight muscle in front of the abdomen that supports your spine. Glutes, the coarse muscle that makes up the buttocks and is largely responsible for maintaining the trunk in the erect posture. Lastly, Bicep, located in front of the upper arm, is accountable for forearm rotation and elbow flexion.
What are the commonly asked questions before you start the workout plan?
Can I do push-ups every day instead of following the three-day-a-week plan?
No. It is essential to allow your body time to recover from the intense daily workouts. Muscle tissue is torn down during exercise but will repair itself during periods of recovery. Remember, the body needs 48 hours to recover and adapt to the stress of strength training.
I’ve reached a plateau and can’t do any more push-ups? What happened?
After making impressive strength gains early on in the program, occasionally, your body will take a while to “catch up.” Stick with the plan, trust in the numbers. Holding your breath inhibits your ability to perform “good-form” push-ups and should be avoided.
What is the correct method for breathing during push-ups?
It’s essential to breathe in during the descent and breathe out on the ascent. Make sure you don’t hold your breath and make every effort to breathe rhythmically throughout the exercise.
Before you begin the workout plan, you will need to perform a baseline test. The purpose is to test your current fitness level and will determine which plan to start with. An important note is to always warm-up before any exercise. Warming up reduces the risk of injury and prepares your muscles to do push-ups.
To begin, place your hand slightly wider than shoulder-width. Perform a push-up by lowering your torso to the ground, stopping when your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Next, breathe out as you push yourself up. This is counted as one push-up. Continue the process until muscle failure. You then tally the number of push-up against the following table to find your fitness level and workout plan.
|1-3||Beginner 1 plan|
|4-6||Beginner 2 plan|
|7-12||Intermediate 1 plan|
|13-20||Intermediate 2 plan|
|21-25||Advance 1 plan|
|26+||Advance 2 plan|
Till then take care.