A push-up is a classic exercise that targets the chest, triceps, abdominal, and shoulder muscles. Push-ups are a fast and effective way to build strength and can be a part of your daily routine. But how many push-ups should you be doing daily? The answer varies from person to person.
How Many Push-Ups Should I Be Able to Do?
The number of push-ups a person can do daily will vary depending on age, gender, and fitness level. Some people may perform a few hundred in a day, while others may struggle to do just a few. Muscle strength, endurance, and technique also influenced the amount of push-ups a person can do.
To find out how many push-ups you can safely perform each day, first consider your current fitness level and any potential health concerns. If you are new to push-ups or have any underlying medical conditions, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or a fitness professional before starting a push-up routine.
Push-Up Capacity: The Push-Up Test
One way to determine your push-up capacity is to perform a maximum repetition test, which involves performing as many push-ups as possible in one set. There is no time limit for the test, and you should stop when you strain or can no longer safely perform a push-up.
You can then use your maximum number of push-ups to set a goal and create a training plan to gradually increase the number of push-ups you can do. You can also compare your number to the average for your gender and age. These norms come from the International Fitness Association:
Push-up test results for men
Push-up test results for women
It is important to listen to your body and avoid overdoing it. If you are new to push-ups or have been inactive for a while, it's a good idea to start with just a few and gradually increase the number as your strength and endurance improve. It's also a good idea to take breaks and rest between sets to allow your muscles to recover.
Proper Push-up Form
Performing push-ups using the proper form is important to avoid injury and ensure you get the most out of the exercise.
To perform a push-up, follow these steps:
- Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart.
- Your hips and ears should align with your shoulders, and your lower back should have a neutral (natural) curve.
- Pull in your belly button to engage your core muscles, and squeeze your glutes.
- Keeping your body straight and your core engaged, lower your body down until your chest nearly touches the ground, then push back up to the starting position.
- Throughout the pushup, keep focusing on your core, not your toes. You want to use your arms and core muscles to move your body up and down, not your toes and legs.
If you're getting bored with standard push-ups, try varying your push-up workout routine to include the various styles of push-ups. You can gradually increase the number you do daily as you build strength and endurance.
Push-ups can be modified based on your fitness level. Some people may prefer to start pushups against a wall or on an elevated surface, like a workout bench. Choose the pushup position based on your current strength, flexibility, and desired number of repetitions.
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, safe push-up modifications include:
- Wall push-ups
- Countertop or workout bench push-ups
- Knee push-ups (with your knees on the ground instead of your toes)
The Benefits of Push-Ups
Push-ups are a simple and effective exercise that can offer a range of benefits for the body. Some benefits include:
- Improved upper body strength: Push-ups target the muscles in the chest, triceps, and shoulders, which can help improve upper body strength and muscle endurance.
- Improved core stability: Push-ups require the engagement of the core muscles, which can help improve stability and balance.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Push-ups can also offer cardiovascular benefits, raising the heart rate and increasing blood flow. A study published in the JAMA Network Open journal found that men who can do 40 or more push-ups have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Stronger bones: Resistance and weight-bearing exercises like push-ups can help protect bone health, keeping them strong and healthy and lowering the risk of fractures.
- Increased muscle mass: Push-ups can help increase muscle mass, particularly in the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Convenience: Push-ups can be performed anywhere and do not require special equipment, making them a convenient and cost-effective exercise option.
Incorporating Push-Ups into Your Workouts
Incorporating push-ups into your fitness routine can be a great way to improve upper body strength and overall fitness. By finding out how many push-ups are safe for you to do daily, and gradually increasing the number over time, you can make progress and achieve your fitness goals. Remember to listen to your body, use proper form, and incorporate other upper body exercises into your routine to achieve optimal results.
Setting a personal goal for yourself with a set number of push-ups to do in a day can help keep you motivated to continue your fitness routine. Whether your end number is 10 or 100, keeping a goal in mind can help you focus on your routine and help you achieve results faster.