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JBIRDIEJ SparkPoints: (3,613)
Fitness Minutes: (3,494)
Posts: 23
5/10/13 3:57 P

I can do 5 regular pushups before I switch to girlie ones. I started out being only able to do 3.

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,977)
Fitness Minutes: (65,929)
Posts: 5,025
5/10/13 1:02 A

WooHoo!! After reading this, I was just tried, and did two! I *might* have been able to do a few more, but my arms, shoulders & back are tired tonight from several hours of canoeing today!

Now, you have to realize, that a) I'm in my 60's.... b) last time I did them was ????!! decades ago and c) I'm probably able to because of a low back problem: I've done knee ones with an emphasis on bending the back in a extended arch off & on for several years (per a phys therapist).
Other than that though, this was something way different for me!! Thanks for getting me to try something new!

PENAM87 Posts: 46
5/9/13 7:09 P

For me personally, I think it has more to do with your strength training than your weight. I currently weigh more than you but I can do 5-10 full push-ups, granted I can barely lift a piece of paper afterwards. I contribute this to years of P.E. and conditioning for sports I was involved in growing up. One of my coaches would actually use push-ups as a form of punishment! Also, girly push-ups aren't an option for me with my bad knee :(
As you build on your strength and core, start with knee push-ups, then start working on planks so you get a feel of your upper body strength then from there work towards attempting push-ups.

KELLY_R Posts: 3,058
5/9/13 4:25 P

Push-ups involve a lot of muscles - more than you'd probably assume (ie: chest).

Full-form pushups will involve not only your chest, but your arms, shoulders, back and core, as well. You have to work on all of these if you're wanting to try and execute a good full-form push-up.

It's taken me FOREVER to finally do full-form pushups myself. I can do push-ups from my knees just fine - no problem, but when I'd get up on my toes, OUCH!

A few tips:

Strength train all the muscle groups mentioned above - chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and core. A good core exercise in preparation for push-ups is planks (as that's the position you hold when doing a push-up)

The best way to practice a movement it to just do it - or at least try to do it. Try doing even just one push-up... even just do the downward movement (go down and then drop to your knees then push up from there) - that will fire all your muscle groups involved. If you get the downward movement okay, then try out the upward movement... lower yourself down on your knees, then straighten your legs and try to push yourself up... maybe you'll get up, maybe you won't, but again the trying is still firing those muscle groups.

Between those practice sets, keep up with the resistance training that will help strengthen your muscles.

I was jumping for joy last week when I actually executed 10 full-form pushups. Then a friend of mine who's a body-builder type decided to urge me on when I told him "this week, I'll do 12!" and he told me "NO! I want 15!!" I laughed and said "Okay, I'll try" and sure enough, I squeezed out 15 the other day.... wanted to stop at 12 but just pushed myself through.

Next week I'm going to go for 17.

But yeah - it took me a long time to finally get to this point. I'm talking years - and mostly it was because I'd chicken out all the time and just do push-ups from my knees until one day I decided to get up on my toes. I started with just one... then was able to do three... then six... eight... etc.

And remember... same as everything else... use it or lose it! Once you're able to do them, don't stop, cause you can find yourself back to square one if you neglect the training.

Good luck!

BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
3/27/13 8:00 P

As your upper arm strength increases and your weight go down it will come. Try a few until your get them.

GRAPLEIRIS SparkPoints: (12,268)
Fitness Minutes: (6,238)
Posts: 183
3/27/13 7:09 P

I am at 240 now and can do ONE full blown on the floor big boy pushup. And it's a struggle. It is one of my ambitions, however to do more, more easily.

I do them against a wall, against the stairs, or pivoting off my knees. They can also to done leaning on one hip arms a little to the side. Another good angle on some of the same muscles are side plank and front plank.


81MSMITH1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (30,465)
Posts: 72
3/27/13 6:23 P

When I started exercising I had to push myself to do multiple girly push-ups. It was probably 2-3 months before I could do 3 or 4 real push-ups in a row. Now, 1 1/2 years later, I can do 20 or so without stopping, maybe even more if I pushed myself.

Just stick with it and keep working at it. You will be doing the same thing before you know it.

3/27/13 2:45 P

I recently got a pull up bar. When I got it I could do 1 chin up and 0 pull ups. I found a video on you tube that talked about training so you can eventually do a full set of both. Do as many real reps as you can and when you can't pull yourself up any more switch to starting at the top of the movement and slowly lower yourself all the way down.

The same principal can apply to push ups. Starting in a plank position slowly lower yourself until you are in the starting push up position. Do 2 sets of 8 reps to start. Lowering really works the muscles and makes you stronger. At the next workout try and do a real push up, do as many as you can and complete the workout with lowers.

It really works! I have been working on it for about 5 weeks now and I can do 6 chin ups in a row now and 2 pull ups in a row. Chin ups are easier. My goal right now is 8 reps of each in a row.

We can do it! emoticon

FITWITHIN Posts: 25,863
3/27/13 12:50 P

This is one of my personal goal to achieve this year is push ups and chin ups. emoticon

STEPH057 Posts: 252
3/27/13 12:27 P

Now I have an urge to see how many push ups I can do...but I'm at work! My coworkers already think I'm crazy enough lol!

GREEBO Posts: 24
3/27/13 11:48 A

I could do real pushups at 220 pounds, not many and not nose to the ground but pretty close. What helped was looking straight ahead instead of down at the floor.(Learned this from a youtube clip of a marine sgt showing how to do a really works) From then on it got easier to build up to multiple sets.

HUNNA13 Posts: 180
3/26/13 9:54 P

I did my first push up yesterday! First one in YEARS. I did a little happy dance in the gym :)

SENNAIRA SparkPoints: (12,690)
Fitness Minutes: (8,106)
Posts: 289
3/25/13 9:06 A

Do other arm exercises to strengthen your arms such as tricep dips and bicep curls..also start out doing push ups on your knees. it is possible. when I went to basic training I got there and couldn't do 1 push up. by the time I graduated I could do 30 in 1 minute. on my last fitness test I did 45 in 1 minute

LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/24/13 9:53 A

I absolutely despise doing push-ups. I don't think I've ever been able to get the form right because I have such little upper body strength (I'm working on that btw) and all push ups ever did was hurt my elbows and my back..I have a very arched back and it was just too difficult to focus on correct form. I never could get it down. If they work for you, great, but as for me, push ups are not effective strength training nor effective for managing weight so I'm more than happy to find other activities.

Btw. You'll notice that I'm not overweight and yet I still don't think I could do a push up correctly to save my life. We are all made differently...if push ups hurt you or are to hard or you just hate them for whatever reason, do something else! nobody says you *have* to be able to do push ups anymore than you *have* to be able to do any other exercise. You do what works for you and what you love!

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
3/24/13 8:51 A

I didn't do them when I was heavier. I think I started them at around 125 lbs or so? I started with the modified but my husband teased me about it one day and said I could handle a *real* pushup. So I went for it and could do about 8-10 reps per set. A few weeks later I was at 12-15 reps. Now I can do about 15-20 or so? I don't really include them in my strength training anymore.I do overhead shoulder presses, alternating bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and bent over rows, atm. I also do Ripped in 30 and JM does include them in her circuits.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 3/24/2013 (08:52)
3/23/13 1:15 P

Well my push up skills are terrible again (I can do 3 regular, and I just tested it).

When I got down to 140 I was able to do around 30 and part of my plan was "the new rules of lifting for women". It was recommended to me by someone here a few years ago when I was on this journey the first time.

I know when I started at 197 I couldn't do any, and I don't remember when I really was able to. Once I could I never wasn't able to, even though I crept back up the weight.

MALAMI518 SparkPoints: (121,869)
Fitness Minutes: (93,174)
Posts: 2,474
3/23/13 12:33 P

That's one of my goals, too. I started about a month ago. I couldn't even do more than 1 or 2 push-ups on my knees without collapsing, so I started on my knees with my hands up on a step. I've moved on to the point where I can (not easily) do 20 "girlie" push-ups on the floor in a row now. I still can't get one regular push-up, but I'm 239 pounds, so that may be holding me back. I'll keep you posted on my progress. Good luck to you!

GEVANS7 SparkPoints: (301,357)
Fitness Minutes: (172,423)
Posts: 2,122
3/22/13 5:03 P

After regular strength training, about 4 months. It all starts with one.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
3/22/13 3:20 P

It took me just under a year of strength training to do one, and now I can usually do 10 in a row. I did a lot of upper body stuff, like a chest press, assisted chin ups, bench press, military press, plus knee push ups. Keep at it and you will get there, I promise!

HEIDIJO150 Posts: 100
3/22/13 1:09 P

Awesome, that you for posting the link to that article. I realized I'm ready to move to incline pushups because I can do a ridiculous amount of wall pushups no problem.
Looks like I can make it to a real push up sooner than I though.

My fiance' and I have a little bet going about pushups so that's why I'm so eager to be able to do one. emoticon

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
3/22/13 1:09 P

Hi there,
Push ups belong to a class of exercises called "bodyweight exercises." Other examples are pull ups, air squats, etc. The #1 best way to improve your ability to do any bodyweight exercise is to have a lighter bodyweight. It is extremely difficult to perform these with a significantly overweight body. I can tell that I personally could not do pull ups or push ups when I was significantly overweight *even though I was decently strong and could lift a lot of weight on bench press and lat pulldown* which work similar muscles as push up and pull up respectively. For me, the limit for doing pull ups was about 170 lbs. When I weighed more than 170 lbs, a pull up was impossible for me -- but once I got into the 160s, I could do them. I can't exactly remember what the "cut off weight" was for push ups which is why I keep talking about pull ups. But remember that when you do a push up, your upper body is lifting between 68 and 72% of your body weight (depends on how your body is shaped for the exact number). If you weigh 255 now, that means you are asking your upper body to lift 178.5 lbs. Imagine that you are doing the bench press or dumbbell press. Do you really think you could lift 178.5 lbs on the bench press, or a pair of 90 lb dumbbells either? Maybe you can -- but you would be VERY rare if you could do that without a lot of strength conditioning and training!

As you lose weight, you WILL be able to do more bodyweight exercises. A pull up is probably impossible for just about anyone at 255 lbs (unless it's all muscle), but as the weight comes off, as long as you continue with strength training, you'll be able to preserve the excessive muscle mass that you have now (people like you and me who started out with a heavier body - I started at 245 lbs - have extra muscle mass just from carrying our bodies around) and then you'll be stronger than an average person and capable of lots of bodyweight exercises that you can't do now.

If you have a chance to use some free weights, you won't be "held back" by the bodyweight and you can flex your muscles a bit more. But you should continue to train with modified push ups and as your weight comes down, you'll find you don't need as much modification.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (197,069)
Fitness Minutes: (192,362)
Posts: 15,854
3/22/13 1:04 P

I don't remember exactly how long, but I got sick of my knees being on the floor and just decided to do full pushups and found that I could.

HEIDIJO150 Posts: 100
3/22/13 12:58 P

One of my big goals in life is to actually be able to do a real pushup.
I'm wondering how long it took you before you could do a pushup. Right now I weigh 255lbs and my upper body strength and core strength is terrible. I'm working on that with exercise dvds, wall pushups, and today I'll be adding some core specific exercises.
Anyway it just feels like I'll never be able to do one at 255lbs. Could anyone do a real push up at that weight? And if not when were you able to? I know that everyone is not the same but I'm still curious.

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