Weight reduction, strength building, or increasing muscle mass – it doesn’t matter what your fitness goals are; trust the constant in your exercise regime to be push-ups. The fact that push-ups are so popular among fitness freaks itself is an endorsement to its effectiveness.
The most significant thing about push-ups is that while it is the chest and upper body muscles that are primarily targeted in this exercise, the support required from the other muscles of the body mean that a wider range of muscles is exercised.1
While you may come across people who say push-ups should not be done every day, think of the military. Boot camps use all types of push-ups every day in their exercise regimen. Whether as proper exercise or as punishment, inmates are required to do enormous numbers of push-ups daily. And they are always at their best physical form. So how many push-ups should you do every day?
Depends On Your Age And Health
Honestly, there are no set rules and the number of push-ups depends entirely on your physical stamina and strength. An average healthy 25-year-old male is believed to be able to complete 39 push-ups, while the same person with a higher level of fitness should be able to complete 54 or more. The average 50-year-old man, if he is healthy, should be able to do 21 push-ups.
How about women then? Do you remember Michelle Obama beating Ellen DeGeneres at a push-up contest in her show by doing 25 push-ups without breaking a sweat? Well, Michelle Obama was 48 then. So if you are a 25-year-old female, you can do better than that!
For Muscles, Do As Many As Your Arms Can Support
If you are looking at building muscle, especially the chest muscle, push-up is one of the best body-weight exercises. As studies have shown, push-ups can build up your shoulder and chest muscles considerably.2
To build muscle mass, you will need to push yourself hard. According to experts, the number of push-ups you must do is the number of push-ups your arms can support. It’s as simple as that. Do your best every single day and wait for the result to show. Always keep in mind that keeping the hands in a narrow base position rather than a wider base position is better to induce greater muscle activation.3
For Stamina, Try More Sets And Variations
If your goal, however, is to build stamina or achieve a fitness goal, you will need to do more sets of push-ups with fewer reps in them. For this, you will first need to identify your fatigue point and then
No matter what your goal is, remember to try variations because exercising muscles to the point that they will grow is difficult. It becomes tougher over time as the body begins to adapt to the exercise regimen. This is where the many push-up variations will come in handy.4
Beginners Should Aim At 3 Sets Of 12 Reps
If you are a beginner, you might do well to start off with wall push-ups. Once you are comfortable with that, move on to doing push-ups on an inclined plane. From there, move to doing it with knees supported on the ground and then finally you can
Push-ups Alone Cannot Help You Lose Weight
Remember that push-ups are a type of calisthenics exercise. Calisthenics exercises do not burn calories as well as cardiovascular exercises. So, if you are hoping that push-ups alone will help you lose weight, you are going to be quite disappointed.
|↑1||Beach, Tyson AC, Samuel J. Howarth, and Jack P. Callaghan. “Muscular contribution to low-back loading and stiffness during standard and suspended push-ups.” Human Movement Science 27, no. 3 (2008): 457-472.|
|↑2||Youdas, James W., Brian D. Budach, Jay V. Ellerbusch, Craig M. Stucky, Kevin R. Wait, and John H. Hollman. “Comparison of muscle-activation patterns during
|↑3||Cogley, Robert M., Teasha A. Archambault, Jon F. Fibeger, Mandy M. Koverman, James W. Youdas, and John H. Hollman. “Comparison of muscle activation using various hand positions during the push-up exercise.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 19, no. 3 (2005): 628-633.|
|↑4||Lear, Leslie Jeanne, and Michael T. Gross. “An electromyographical analysis of the scapular stabilizing synergists during a push-up progression.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 28, no. 3 (1998): 146-157.|