If you’re a guy or girl who wants to increase his or her chest muscles, I’m sure you’ve done pushups at some time or another. Or if you’ve done any conditioning for a sport, I bet your coach made you do some amount of pushups. Pushups are one of the most common, but least understood body weight exercises out there today. When done correctly, they can be one of the most effective muscle-building exercises. I’ll go over some of the most important components of the “perfect pushup”.
The first thing to remember while doing pushups, is that form is EVERYTHING. The effectiveness of the pushup is determined largely by how correctly you perform the exercise. When you are doing a pushup, you need to have your arms shoulder-width apart, a straight back, tightended buttocks, and straight legs, with your toes holding up your legs. As you are moving up and down during the motion of the pushup, you must keep your back straight, DO NOT, let it dip and arch, which is the natural tendency because it makes the pushup easier. I see people “cheating” like this all the time when doing pushups, and they really are only cheating themselves outta stronger, better-looking chest muscles.
Even though it makes it harder, keep everything straight as I mentioned as you SLOWLY drop down and push yourself back up with your chest muscles and tricep muscles. You should feel a deep burn in your chests and in your triceps as you continue. Do not shy away from that feeling, that is what will get you good results! Squeeze every once of burning sensation as you can, pinch your pectoral muscles (chest muscles) together at the climax of your push up. That really tears down the muscle (which is what you want, because then it will build itself back up bigger and stronger).
Keep going until you cannot lift yourself off the floor anymore. Then, give yourself about 4-5 seconds of rest and heave yourself up to the upper, elbows locked position. Now, ever so slowly, let yourself drop down to the floor again. But, fight it the whole way down, try to keep yourself from falling another inch. Your chest muscles are exhausted, so you will inevitably fall, but if you fight against it the whole way you will experience intense burning and stretching in your pecs. Don’t worrry, that is what you want! After you hit the floor. Lay there for awhile and catch your breath. Now, only 2 more sets and you’re done! Do that a couple times a week, and you’ll see real nice gains after only 2-3 weeks.
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Stephen Bodiger writes on a variety of topics concerning muscle growth and development. He wants to educate and inspire you to build muscle the most safe and effective ways.
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