Push-ups. I bet you love, or love to hate them. This weight-bearing exerciseIs This the New Celebrity Diet?. Read more ... » is fantastic at sculpting your shoulders and arms, building up your pecs (and for us ladies, giving us a little lift!), and making your back look just incredible.
But, they’re not easy! So, I understand why when Tony HortonTony Horton 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout. Read more ... » or Shaun TInspirational Mom Tania Ante Baron: T25 Changed My Life. Read more ... » tells you to knock out a set of push-ups in P90X or INSANITY, you groan. And, after a few sets of these grueling exercises, perhaps you’ve started to wonder: How much weight am I really pushing here? What percent of my body weight am I lifting? Can I do push-ups on my knees instead? And, if I need to do them on my knees, should I bother doing them at all?
Articles published within the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research revealed that men lifted about 66.4% of their body weight with each rep when they did a push-up on their toes. On their knees, they lifted about 52.9% of their body weight. In other words, a 180-pound man will lift 119.5 pounds per rep doing a regular push-up and 95.2 pounds doing a push-up on their knees. Women lift slightly less of their body weight per rep, but the difference is negligible.
Want to determine approximately how much you’re lifting? Put your scale on level ground and place your hands on it and do a push-up on your toes. Have a friend read the number on the scale if you cannot. Then, repeat the exercise, but this time, do the push-up on your knees. The number you see is approximately how much body weight you’re lifting though the number will vary depending on your arm position (i.e. military, diamond, wide, etc.)
How to do the perfect push up:
If you can’t do a push-up on your toes yet, don’t give up! You’re still getting a great workout.
For the few of you who want to make your push-up harder and lift more of your body weight, here are some tips from easiest to hardest: