Push-ups are a great workout that builds upper body strength and has various health benefits aside from muscle. This is also an exercise that can progress in more reps and eventually have weights added to it. As for beginners, starting a frequent routine of push-ups is very simple, but there are certain things to know in order to get the best results.
It takes around two months to see immense results from doing push-ups consistently. Gains in upper body strength can be noticed earlier on and throughout working out, but the bigger changes show after two months for beginners. This comes from persistently doing push-ups 3 or 4 times a week.
Keep reading to know more about the factors that go into push-ups, and how to do them correctly to see results.
When Will You See Results?
The key to seeing results is consistency. If you do push-ups 3-4 times a week, you will not just see big results in two months, but you notice your body getting stronger and toned before then. As you drive yourself during the workout, create a stimulus for muscle growth, and allow yourself to recover, your upper body will get stronger each time.
How Many Push-Ups Should You Do Daily To See Results?
There is no exact number of push-ups that should be done daily. Everyone is capable of different levels of fitness, so it varies.
For beginners, it’s recommended to start with 5 or 10 push-ups and do them 3 or 4 times a week to let your body recover. If this amount isn’t pushing you enough, you could do two or three sets of 10 push-ups, and have a short break in between each set. As you do this, it will feel more doable and comfortable, and that’s when you would start to increase the number of push-ups you’re doing. Make sure that you slowly increase that number, so that you feel challenged but not overdoing yourself.
Overall, start with however many make you challenge yourself but not exhaust you, and then add more from there once you get comfortable again. This will keep the muscle growing.
You can modify your pushups to help you start, for example by lowering your knees to the ground or incline push-ups against the wall.
How to know if you’re overdoing yourself:
When doing push-ups, feeling sore is normal, but it’s important to know what soreness is not typical:
- If you are feeling pain during or after your push-ups, you’re over-stressing or injuring your joints or muscles.
- Feeling like you need to collapse after doing your push-ups and working yourself to the point of exhaustion means your doing too many push-ups or reps.
Do You Need Days Off From Push-Ups?
Using push-ups as a workout to push yourself and build muscle requires you to take a couple of days off before doing them again. However, determining whether you need days off from push-ups depends on how hard you’re working yourself.
If you do a more challenging and intense push-up workout 2-3 times a week, then you need to rest for 2-3 days after. Push-ups work multiple muscle groups, like the chest, shoulders, and arms. Because of this, you should rest for 2-3 days in between doing these. Letting yourself fully recover will also enable your muscles to build bigger and stronger.
The only time you could do these every day is if you are doing more mini-push-up workouts throughout the day. For example, some people do 10 push-ups every hour, and this can be done daily. This is done for the health benefits of mood and energy boost, rather than for building strength.
A Hard push-up workout that consists of 3-5 sets and takes 30-90 minutes to complete is dangerous to do every day. It pushes your muscle’s limits which raises your risk for injuries, fatigues you, and prevents muscle development.
Do Push Ups Build Muscle or Tone?
You can build and tone muscles by doing push-ups.
Exercises using our body weight can still build muscle. As long as your muscle tissue is being stressed enough (where you can’t do any more reps with proper form), then you are creating a stimulus for muscle growth.
Doing frequent push-ups will tone and strengthen your upper body and arm muscles. However, doing just push-ups and strength training isn’t enough to lose weight.
These different push-ups are best for different purposes:
- Hands below center of the breastbone with thumb and forefinger of each hand touching.
- Have the greatest activation in triceps and pectoralis major muscles (pecs).
- Best for people trying to increase the size, tone, or strength of their triceps or pecs.
- Hands are shoulders width apart but 20 cm in front of shoulders.
- Best activation of abdominal and back muscles.
- Hands are shoulders width apart but 20 cm behind the shoulders.
- Best activation of abdominal and back muscles.
- Activates the largest number of muscle groups overall.
Weighted Push Ups: When Should You Start Adding Weights to Your Push Ups?
You should start adding weights to your push-ups once using your body mass isn’t enough anymore. If doing this movement has become easy and more of an endurance exercise instead of strength and muscle-building one, then add the weights.
Adding additional weight can result in bad form, so it’s recommended that you don’t do this until you can do 30 perfect reps of body-weight push-ups. This is a good guideline to know when you’re ready for this next step.
Weights make the push-ups harder and more of a challenge, which can help build muscle mass. You will be capable of fewer reps, but each one will push you. This is often a replacement for the deadlift or weighted dips.
How to Add Weights:
You should start with a weight plate, sandbag, or weight vest that equals 10% of your body weight. Once that weight becomes easy, you can progress to add weights in increments of 5-10 percent.
It’s important that you add the weights properly and safely. Adding this to your workout can be dangerous if done incorrectly, so it’s crucial to take note of your balance, weight amount, form, safety, and where you’re placing it on your back.