Press ups: I MUST be doing something wrong.

#1
Hi,

I am going to go for the TA Engineers in August and I have been getting into shape. I can do about 70 sit ups in 2 minutes and my run time is about 11:00 but is coming down, I will most probably have it sub 10:00 by August.

The one thing that is really getting to me is press ups. I am pretty fit; a competitive martial artist and a gym rat and I have had no problems with the other areas of the fitness requirments but:

I CAN ONLY BANG OUT ABOUT 20 PUSH UPS!

After that I fail and take a few seconds break but still only manage about 5-10 more. Has anyone else had/have this problem? I have a pretty strong upper body and bench 50kg and do about 10 pull ups so I am wondering, could there be something wrong with my technique?

I have been doing sets of push ups everyday and I am steadily improving but I am still below what I should be able to do.

Any suggestions much appreciated, this is really getting on my nerves.

Cheers,

J.
 
#2
you could always try the crap version...i.e. not using your legs, lying on your chest, i did this when i was pis* poor at push ups, and it helped as a stopgap, to moving onto proper push ups, and its remarkable how fast, e.g. about a week, you'll be able to do more "proper" push ups......

or you could just wan* off all day, use both arms and you'll end up with good arm muscles.... :highfive:
 
#3
stvwardy said:
you could always try the crap version...i.e. not using your legs, lying on your chest, i did this when i was pis* poor at push ups, and it helped as a stopgap, to moving onto proper push ups, and its remarkable how fast, e.g. about a week, you'll be able to do more "proper" push ups......

or you could just wan* off all day, use both arms and you'll end up with good arm muscles.... :highfive:
Do as many as you can normal type then once you can do no more go onto your knees and the "crap version" as mentioned above, that way you will be working your muscles just that little bit further and harder.
 
#4
how wide apart are your hands when you do it.
If less than shoulder width you are making it hard on yourself.
Your hands should be almost directly under the outer edge of the shoulders, fingers facing forward. Do not go down till your chest hits the floor either.

Practice several sets of 10 throughout the day. Build up to practicing 20s about 5 or 6 times a day. You will soon be able to rattle off 50 or 60 at a go.
 
#6
Thanks everyone for the advice. Mad to grid thats a good idea I will start doing that.. so instead of just failure Ill get just a litle more.

Come to think of it my arms are a bit wider than shoulder width apart. I will start making sure they are about shoulder width.

Oh well ill keep on practicing lol.

J.
 
#7
Apparently a normal pressup uses 75% of your weight and the "crap versions" use 60%.

Do as many normal ones as you can and then switch like mag_grid and others have said.

Learn something new everyday!
 
#8
delinquent said:
Apparently a normal pressup uses 75% of your weight and the "crap versions" use 60%.

Do as many normal ones as you can and then switch like mag_grid and others have said.

Learn something new everyday!
Cool, Ill check out that info in the gym tomorrow, put my hands on a scale in bench press position and see what it says. I dont have a scale lol.

J.
 
#9
Try using a stability ball (most decent gyms have one) and do as many press ups on that first. According to an article in Mens Fitness this works the deep muscles in the shoulders and back. Once you have done that to fatigue drop to a normal press up position and do them to fatigue then drop to your knees and carry on 'til you blow out of yo ass. I did this and I went from doing 5 press ups in one go to 25 in a matter of 2 weeks. Hope this helps.
 
#10
When I started, I just did as many as I could in one go, trying to do one more than the day before. Went from 12 to 50, but it took a while.

I am now try to do that with sit ups, but unfortunately with less success thus far.

FF.
 
#11
try various pressup, for example:

Hands as wide as you can get them to perform a pressup

fingers pointing inwards/outwards

place hands close together to form a triangle shape, just above your solar plexus (below breast bone).

star pressups are a good exercise - basically do one pressup, then go all the way down (just off the floor) then move your hands and legs wide apart (hop to get in to position), then back to normal pressup position, do all over again ;)

plenty of ideas on the net, an EXCELLENT resource is http://www.rossboxing.com you can't go wrong with his training methods!!
 
#12
Thanks again for your advice, taking it all on board. Just out of interest I checked out how much weight press ups use.

I am 84kg and a normal press up on the scale read 60kg and a "girl" press up read 50kg..

Just got a second to work it out. A normal press up uses 71% of body weight and a "girl" press up uses 59%. Of course it would vary depending on body composition.. maybe my head is exceptionally heavy or something (?)...

J.
 
#13
Friendly_Fire said:
I am now try to do that with sit ups, but unfortunately with less success thus far.

FF.
Just for the record, I find doing loads of crunches really helps with sit ups. I only do situps these days to test myself, otherwise its just crunches and I always get a (nice) surprise when I do a sit ups test. My record in 2 minutes is 73.. it used to be under 30... all I did was crunches...

Give it a try.

J.
 
#16
Get someone at the unit to watch you do your pressups, ie hte PTI. He will be able to help you a bit better than we can over the medium of the t'internet.
 
#18
sniper_bob said:
Try putting one arm behind your back, alternating arm every 10 push ups.
Thats a nice idea but I cant seem to even do one with one arm. I dont think its the strength as much as balance: I just fall over. Did 20 in a row today so a little better, maybe its just practice after all.

J.
 
#19
The one thing that is really getting to me is press ups. I am pretty fit; a competitive martial artist and a gym rat and I have had no problems with the other areas of the fitness requirments but:

I CAN ONLY BANG OUT ABOUT 20 PUSH UPS!
I had to bang out 100 in 3 mins for my Black Belt, you should be hanging your head in disgrace! My Mrs was firing out 50 when I was training her for "The Race For Life" last year!! I told her no its not a charity fun run, it wouldn't have "Race" in the title if it was, top 50 or walk home! Go !!!!!!!!!!!
 

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