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Should You do Push Ups Everyday?

Updated on December 3, 2016
Bruce Lee performing his legendary 2 finger push up.
Bruce Lee performing his legendary 2 finger push up.

Use only that which works and take it from any place you can find it.

- Bruce Lee

While there are people who hate to exercise at all, there also exist some overenthusiastic types who can't get enough of it. I, for a fact, used to be in the later category once upon a time. I even wondered why people hated going to the gym. But no one ever escapes the wrath of the gym god who punishes the ones who disobey him. What can I say? All gods are cruel. Diabolical even!

Talking of disobeying the rules, there are some exercise rules we should always follow to get the best out of our efforts and to prevent injuries. Which, by the way, are very common among trainees. May that be someone who goes to the gym or someone who works out at home. No one can get away with breaking the safety rules.

The rules apply in case of push ups too. Bad form and over-training can lead to injuries, and calisthenics is not an exception.

Everything you need to know about Push up variations + Nutrition to gain/ lose weight

Push ups everyday?

Should you do push ups everyday?

Mostly no (with a few exceptions, of course).

Well. if you do 400 push ups everyday, you'll get over trained by the end of the week. You will stop progressing. And What's worse is, this kind of approach DOES more harm than good.

You see, after a workout, our body needs time to recover. How much that time is depends on many factors, such as

Ask yourself what your goal is: to gain strength, muscle, endurance or simply exhaust yourself because you got nothing better to do.

Let me drop some knowledge: For best gains in strength and muscle, 3 - 5 is the best rep range. For endurance, 20 - 40 is ideal.

Now you'll probably say: "Five are too easy. How am I going to get stronger doing just 5?"

Okay, you find push ups easy. You can do a lot more than 5 in a single set. But, have you tried any harder variations? There are lots!

Most people know only a few variations of push ups, such as: Regular, decline, and clapping. May be even close grip push ups.

Following are some more variations starting from easier versions progressing to more difficult ones:

The Push up is an amazing exercise. It has a lot of benefits. You should add them into your workout routine. But to reap the maximum benefits and prevent injuries, learn the correct form -- It's crucial.

For more information on push up benefits and technique read my hub: Benefits of Push ups.

How many push ups can you do?

See results
  1. Kneeling.
  2. Incline.
  3. Half push ups.
  4. Close push ups.
  5. Lever push ups.
  6. Incline one arm push ups.
  7. Uneven one arm push ups.
  8. One arm push ups.
  9. Dive-bomber.
  10. Jackknife.
  11. Handstand.
  12. Superman.
  13. Gecko.
  14. Clapping (Plyo).
  15. Tiger push ups.
  16. Ring push ups.

As you progress to the harder variations, the change in leverage and weight distribution among limbs will increase the resistance and make them a lot harder. The 5 reps you can knock out so easily now with regular push ups, will seem impossible to achieve.

Don't lose hope yet. There are some very good calisthenics progression workouts out there. Pick the one you like and do it till you become a calisthenics master. Just don't give up too soon.

Exceptions to the rule

Earlier I said you shouldn't do push ups everyday, but there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, you can do them as a warm up exercise before your workouts. Of course, you won't be doing them till your arms fall off. Just do enough to get the blood flowing.

Another way you can keep doing push ups everyday without getting over-trained is to do sets of 5 (or less if 5 is hard) with plenty of rest between the sets. You will total over 100 reps.

This way, you remain fresh and your muscles don't run out of energy. You will be doing plenty of sets throughout the day without exhausting yourself. This method improves strength and endurance. Your numbers will increase without your practicing high reps.

You can also use this method for improving your number in pull ups.

Some pointers on good form

Following are some tips you should keep in mind when finding a push up technique that is best for you.

  1. Keep your torso, hips, and legs aligned throughout the movement. Contract your abs and glutes hard to prevent your hips from sinking.
  2. Exhale on the way up, and inhale on the way down.
  3. Keep the elbows close to the body. Forming a natural 45 degree angle to the body.
  4. Perform a full range of motion, but don't lock your elbows at the top of the movement; keep them a little loose.
  5. Except for plyometric or other explosive variations, push ups should be performed at a slow pace. Momentum kills strength gains, so for better gains in strength and muscle do them slowly. Also, elbows tend to jerk while doing explosive movements under high tension, and that puts stress on your joints. To prevent this, avoid explosive movements until the slower version feels too easy.

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.

- Bruce Lee

Thank you for reading

I hope you found what you were looking for. Feel free to ask me any doubts you have.

Good luck!

Never give up!


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