Weight and Resistance Training - Those that do push ups...

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02-15-2013, 07:04 PM
I was wondering when you were able to start doing "regular" push ups rather than modified ones. Or were you able to do regular ones right off the bat? I'm trying to figure out if I'm fairly "normal" in that I can 30 modified push ups but struggle to complete even 1 regular one! It's frustrating and I would so love to move on. Sometimes it helps to hear what others have done or if anyone else struggles with this as well? I'm hoping as the weight comes off I can graduate to the regular kind...

(Modified push ups for me are knees on the ground, feet up and crossed, butt tucked in. Regular push ups are on your toes, no arch/butt tucked in.)

the shiv
02-15-2013, 07:18 PM
Oh man... pushups make me cry! ;)

I did modified pushups for years, and eventually I realised it wasn't getting me anywhere. So, I decided only to do real ones. I started out with one (yes, ONE) a day during my workout. After a while added in another one. Then went up to 5. Then all five together instead of spreading them out. Now I'm up to 4 sets of 5 with a short break between sets (about 30 seconds). It's so hard I want to punch a hole in the wall, but the difference is, I feel like I could do that now if I wanted to ;)

One thing that helped was doing planks to improve my core stability and ensure my form is good. I'm sure you can injure yourself with bad form... But provided you have that down, I say go for it. If you can do 30 modified, it might be time to move on. Just like you would increase your free weights periodically, but bring down your reps/sets. It hurts, but it works! And it does make you feel kind of awesome afterwards :)

02-15-2013, 07:54 PM
If you want to get to pushups, I suggest you do incline pushups. Knee pushups really won't progress you but you could do incline ones. Feet on ground, hands on slightly elevated surface. It can be stairs, a chair, a counter or even a wall. I was able to progress to regular pushups by doing them on stairs and just dropping down a step until I was on the floor.

02-15-2013, 08:47 PM
I couldn't do pushups, period, due to some surgery that I had exactly a year ago, which cut open my pectorals. Instead, 10 weeks after surgery (ie, last April), I started doing all sorts of upper body weights: free weights primarily (starting with 8 lb, and now using 15 - 25lb dumbells in each hand) but also some machines to regain strength.

A couple of weeks ago, I was explaining to my husband that because of my surgery, there was no way I could ever do a pushup, and that I had come to accept that. Then I proceeded to demonstrate to him just exactly why it was that I could never do a pushup again, and I did one in the process!! The next day I did 5!!

My point? You don't need to work on doing pushups now to necessarily do pushups in the future. Truly, a year ago I had no muscle due to the surgery, and add to that I was (sadly) obese. It was strength exercises *other than* pushups that enabled me to do pushups now. So, I recommend working with free weights to increase your arm strength and core. That will help you so much to get to your goal of doing a regular pushup.

02-15-2013, 09:24 PM
Just make sure you have good form. Your hands should be not much wider (if wider) than your shoulders and your arms should go back, not out. Otherwise you are putting too much strain on your shoulders.

And, it might be better not to tuck the butt too much. People tend to sag in pushups which is bad for the back, so try ti keep straight and if necessary, the butt slightly up (but I mean slightly) to prevent arching.

But yes, modified pushups don't really help you progress to standard pushups. The suggestions of using a stair or bench to ease your way slowly down is the way to do it. it takes TIME, but you can do them.

02-15-2013, 10:05 PM
I do modified push ups. I'm not physically ready to do regular push ups.
But I'm gonna try the incline suggestion :-)

02-15-2013, 10:55 PM
oh to have the upper body strength of a man.... but still look like a woman!!

i do 10 modified and i'm about ready to cry, lol.

02-17-2013, 10:33 PM
I agree with the shiv planks really helped me with my pushups, of course at this point I can only do 2 before I collapse into a puddle. :)

02-18-2013, 04:28 PM
I was debating whether or not to add in the original post that I do a minute and a half plank everytime I strength train. It's definitely good to know that planks help with pushups! I think I will try the incline style suggested until I can manage.

Thanks for all the advice everyone!

02-18-2013, 07:21 PM
I was never really big on push-ups... but a few months ago I came across this "push up" app for my iPad to build up to 100... well, I'm up to 30 and I'm happy with that so far... I'd like to get up to 50 continuous...

02-18-2013, 07:47 PM
I was up to about 25 full length push-ups, but then was told to change my stance by my physical therapist as my arms were too wide, putting a lot of strain on my shoulders. Now that my arms are closer in and not sticking out, I can only do like 12, but I'm building up again.

When I started this weight loss journey, I couldn't even get into the plank position, so it's amazing progress, but still so much farther to go.

02-18-2013, 07:47 PM
No, I was unable to execute even one "regular" push-up upon starting the NROL4W about 18 months ago. It was very...humbling. I did them against the wall and countertop as I got stronger. Now I can do the regular ones plus decline and pike ones too. I'm up to around 25 regular ones in a row. It takes awhile but you'll get there. They really helped develop my upper body nicely too. Love doing them now.

02-19-2013, 11:27 AM
Even at a much younger age I was never able to do a real push-up. I feel like I may be able to complete one now since I've been doing strength training. I'm just afraid to try because I'm afraid I'll fail.

02-20-2013, 10:14 AM
I started out not being able to do any push ups at all but after doing incline pushups through NROLFW and NROLFA I can get out a few proper ones. I used my stairs to work my way down. For now I start out doing the few I can on the floor and finish out my sets using the first step.

02-20-2013, 05:55 PM
Ok, now I feel good!

Ok, so I've been doing all sorts of different exercises with my personal trainer, but no full length pushups. I've done some things on the bosu ball, on the exercise ball, using the TRX straps, and doing things off the bench.

Just now (after 30 minutes on TRX already today - plus other stuff), I decided to do some full length pushups - properly. I can do 20. That's "close" to where I was with my BAD form push-ups (if I widen my arms I can do about 30 bad form pushups- but my physical therapist said that I was going to hurt my shoulder doing them like that and he taught me to move my hands under my shoulders).

So, when I switched, I went from doing 30 bad one to being only able to do THREE of the good form push-ups. But in just 6 weeks I can now do 20 and might be able to do more as I've already worked those muscles quite a bit today !!!! So, I AM getting stronger!

02-20-2013, 07:03 PM
I, too, couldn't do a single pushup when I started doing NROLS on 01January. I did them with my hands elevated on a bar on my squat rack cage in peg number 13. Slowly but surely I brought that bar down and two weeks ago - I made it to the floor. I can do 4 sets of 10 now. WooHoo! Form is critical - make sure your shoulders are over your hands, not too wide or elbows turned out.

02-21-2013, 03:09 PM
I think you just need to build your upper and core strength a little more, but you are doing great! I would try doing more tricep, bicep and core workouts such as planks; these should help to build your strength the be able to complete those regular pushups. Just try your modified and add one or so regular in the mix every so often until you build-up to half and half or so. Just don't lose motivation!! You're doing awesome with 30 modified, that's tough as it is!!!

02-26-2013, 07:33 PM
You could try putting something in between your hands like a football or a thick book. That way your doing them basically the way you want but with only a partial range of motion. Then try using progressively smaller and smaller objects until you can do the whole movement. The key is to not go to failure but do a lot of reps with some energy left over at the end. Break it up into more sets if you have to. It helps to not think of it as a workout but as merely "practicing" a new skill.

02-26-2013, 08:46 PM
Great advice everyone! I love this stuff and I am really looking forward to todays workout to try these out. Thanks!

02-27-2013, 11:30 AM
I do planks on a bosu ball and modified pushups on a bosu. Oh my gosh does it burn!

02-27-2013, 02:03 PM
I agree with those that suggest starting with elevate/incline pushups. Up until 5 years ago I could not do even 1 standard push-up. I worked with a trainer who started me out doing push-ups on a bar that was raised only slightly below chest level. As time went on we slowly dropped the bar until I was doing push-ups from the floor. And it only took a couple months.

04-29-2013, 07:44 AM
If you find military push ups impossible, add planks to your routine to strengthen your core, before you'll know it you'll be away laughing

05-01-2013, 10:04 PM
Just make sure you have good form. Your hands should be not much wider (if wider) than your shoulders and your arms should go back, not out. Otherwise you are putting too much strain on your shoulders.

Thank-you so much for that comment! I've been struggling to do push-ups for a month now...and I'm doing the baby-step incline kind, against my kitchen counter. But, even at such a high height, I truly struggle and my shoulders ache. I'd just about given up on push-ups. When I read your comment, I realized that my arms go out, not back. I just tried a couple based on your advice and they're now a lot less painful on my shoulders.

05-16-2013, 03:38 PM
I can probably do 5 crappy ones right now. I also do incline pushups and like others have said WAY better than on the knees. Can't wait to be able to do a bunch of good form real pushups..looks so badass!

the shiv
05-21-2013, 11:12 AM
Ahhh... I just re-read this thread, as I'm starting a dumbbell full-body program today. I noticed that 3 months ago I could do 5 push ups... By adding another one in every time I felt I could manage it, I'm now up to 13! See, stick with it, just like everyone else has said, I wish I'd thought of the incline idea years ago, that's a great suggestion :)