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Pushups: What is more effective?

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Old 01-23-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
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Default Pushups: What is more effective?

I have not been working out for that long, so I am not strong enough yet to do full push ups.
I am finding, however, that when I do them from my knees, they are not all that challenging. Today I tried doing a full one and I could only get about 1/3 of the way down

What do you think would be more effective: keep doing the ones from the knees or doing the full ones without complete range of movement? Or, is there any other modification I can try that is sort of in-between?
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:25 PM   #2
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I don't have an answer for you but I would like to pose another one on this topic.

My cousin told me that if you hold a pose for 15 seconds or as long as you can, it's almost the equivelent of doing a couple pushups... so like... you would pause half way down. I know my muscles are working because I can feel the burn, but does it have the same effect as the up and down motion of a pushup?
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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In between modification. Do full pushup on an incline, such as a weight bench or on stairs. The goal to be to eventually move closer to the ground until you are on the ground.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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As far as modifications, I totally agree with Nelie and would use that approach.

As for pauses being the same as doing a couple of pushups, you will not be working the muscles throughout the full range of motion, so it definitely is not comparable. You will get stronger at the point where you are doing the isometric hold, which can be of great benefit if you are doing the holds at your sticking point. So they can have their place in your workout (I like them at the end of the workout as part of a finisher) and can be used to help develop your pushups, but they definitely are not the same and are definitely not as beneficial for overall function as an exercise as full pushups.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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Are you touching your chest to the floor on the knee push-ups? I recently started working on those, and they are challenging if you've only been going partway down. I'd also recommend the push-up progressions with the angles, like try 45s with straight legs, then 30s, or just start on some steps, and work your way down one step at a time till you can do all your sets on the floor.

When I'm doing push-ups for part of my workout, I usually start with the hardest version I can do. Currently I can do a couple of chest-to-floor with straight legs, then I spread my feet wide apart, legs still straight (it's a little easier) for a few reps (till I can't do any more), then knees (again, chest to floor), then when I can't do any more chest to floor and still have reps left to do, I'll switch to 30s or 45s with straight legs, to finish, because by this time my chest is fried.

Also, just for kicks and giggles, you can do slow push-ups, like 3 seconds down, hold 3 seconds (on these you don't go chest-to-floor, since the challenge is to hold yourself just off the ground), 3 seconds up, repeat. (works with any progression you're doing) If those get easy, you can do 5 or 10 seconds down, hold, up, repeat.

Have fun with your push-ups!
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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Thanks! I will give those modifications a try. First time I tried a pushup with straight leg my arms gave in and I pretty much fell flat on the ground LOL
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Old 01-24-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
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Yeah, me too. You'll improve quickly, as you've found with the knees version getting too easy. You can work the chest to floor thing for a while, and also the angled progressions, and that will get you through to doing regular push-ups on your toes on the floor.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:15 AM   #8
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How is your form when you are performing push-ups on your knees? Make sure that your back is straight and that your hands are far enough away from your lower body. You should be able to feel it a little in your abs. Then lower. I ask this because my sister said the exact same thing. I had her show me her modified push-ups and saw that her hands and knees were really close to together. After a few corrects, she said it wasnt so easy.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beautiful Ace View Post
My cousin told me that if you hold a pose for 15 seconds or as long as you can, it's almost the equivelent of doing a couple pushups... so like... you would pause half way down. I know my muscles are working because I can feel the burn, but does it have the same effect as the up and down motion of a pushup?
I think this method of training must be good for something - because you're holding an isometric contraction, just like a plank. Hmm that's really all i've got
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:11 AM   #10
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try diamond pushups. stretch your hands open flat twist inwards 45 degrees. bring your two hands together under your sternum. with index fingers and thumbs. are touching with a diamond shape in the middle.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:51 PM   #11
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I am just starting on what i call "girlie push-ups". I can do 10 but i can't go chest to the floor. I only go about half way. If i go any further down, i'll fall down. Is this bad?? If i keep practicing my "girlie Push-ups"...will i eventually be able to strengthen my chest and arms enough to go all the way down to the ground?? I am also just starting with weights. I am doing 2 sets of 10 reps using 10 pound weights on my bi-ceps. Then i use one 10 pound weight,held by two hands behind my head to work my tri-ceps (comes out to 5 pounds per tri-cep in other words)..and then i use 5 pound weights in each hand and lay on a ball to work my chest muscles and my shoulders.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:34 PM   #12
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starmac: I checked on my form today, just to be sure. I think I am doing it fine since I make sure my hands are level with my shoulders and I am getting all the way to the ground. Haven't tried the mods yet, but will do that today, see how I do.
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