Push-ups: the Techniques
You have probably heard about Paddy Doyle – he is currently a respected world champion in full push-ups. He has a wide history of records. Once, he did 4100 push-ups with a 23 kg box tied on his back. A few years back he did 7860 push-ups at some pub. His one-hour record is 1700 push-ups, while a twenty-four-hour one is 37000. Exactly that much, there is no mistake here. Doing push-ups is a great exercise for those who wish to develop the muscle mass, especially for bodybuilders.
Push-ups and Bench-Press
Push-up is bench-press the other way around; it is a multarticulate exercise as well. This means that many muscles work, when you perform this exercise, but only two, however, “perform the solo”- the pectoral muscles and triceps, exactly like in bench-press. Some other muscles work indirectly, such as front bundles of the deltoid muscles, forearm muscles, fiddle muscles, lower back muscles, press, and quadriceps. This, however, is just an anatomical surface view.
In reality, practically the entire body muscular system takes part in the push-up. On the other hand, only some of the muscles do the dynamic work, while others are toughened statically to keep the body straight. The exercise has great metabolic effect and works, exactly like the sit-ups, on the entire body.
Push-ups and Pectoral Muscles
The greater pectoral muscles are like no other muscles. The rest of the muscles have their fibers lined up in one direction, while in the pectoral muscles they are dispersed from the clavicle like a fan. Therefore, any type of exercise brings to work only a portion of the fibers, the ones which lie along the load vector. Add the individual traits of the bodybuilder and you will understand why the amateurs have unpretentious chest.
Variations of Push-ups
The “classics” like bench-press stack the load on the same muscle areas leaving the others idle. Dumbbell and barbell exercises leave almost no freedom for manoeuvres. Push-ups are a whole different story. Suffice is to put hands a bit wider or closer to each other, a bit further in front or shift them back and you can reach any “sleeping” pectoral muscle.
The Secret of Kevin Levrone
One could argue, that the own body weight is not a serious load for a bodybuilder. In response we can advise leaving push-ups for the end of the workout complex and doing as many as you can. By the way, the secret method of Kevin Levrone is doing push-ups till he drops from exhaustion once he reaches the finish line, though, he does only the “female” style push-ups – on the knees. For something more difficult he simply does not have enough strength.
Push-ups in Bodybuilding
The belief, that push-ups should be done only when one does not have access to the weights or dumbbells, is wrong. Push-up is a typical basic exercise, which is free from the major shortcoming presented in most of the bodybuilding exercises – unnecessary complexity. Push-ups have their own mission in bodybuilding. They should be done with only one goal in mind – to correct the muscle shape. To do so, take your shirt off and let someone watch your body while you do press-ups. Find the push-up version which “nails” your weak point. Push ups should not be done merely for setting records.
Bench-Press and Push-ups Compared
Let’s compare bench-press and push-ups. Inclined bench-press with the head-up position stimulates the upper pectoral muscles, with the head-down position – the lower ones. Push-ups work differently. The typical version “head above the legs” loads the lower area, but when the feet are supported and head is below the legs, the upper pectoral muscles get to work.
The Best Way to Do Push-ups
The outer pectoral muscles work when push-ups are done with the hands held wide-apart. Note, however, that the push-ups have their greatest effect, when hands are wide-apart and feet are positioned on an elevated surface. Here you drop lower at the zero position and stretch the pectoral muscles almost till it hurts. This stretching will help you “mark” the boundaries of the outer pectoral muscles relatively fast.
Doing One-Hand Push-ups
One-hand push-up is definitely a high class mastery. In a month your pectoral muscles will be well pronounced as if stamped with a forming press. So, you’re free to choose the variant of doing push-ups depending on your goals.