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You use your body-weight to execute pushups.
Pushups will build strength in your chest, but doing them every day is pushing it too far. According to Jessica Matthews, M.S., assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College, training muscles every day doesn't give them time to recover. Instead of doing pushups every day, do them three times a week. Try scheduling them Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Set a goal to do a certain amount of pushups on these days, increasing the reps gradually.
Performing A Pushup
Pushups mainly target the pectoralis major, or chest. Lay towards the floor with your arms fully extended. Your hands should be shoulder-width while your feet are together. Your back and hips should remain straight. Inhale and lower your body until your chest touches the floor; the idea is to push the floor away from you. Using your arms, push up to the starting position and exhale. Pushups can be challenging -- set a goal to do a certain amount and increase that rep amount as they become easier.
Push For A Goal
Set a goal to do a certain amount of pushups. For instance, if you're just starting out, try a relatively moderate amount of pushups, such as 30 in a day. You don't have to do 30 pushups in one session. Break them down into sets: three sets of 10, or six sets of five. As 30 pushups in a day becomes easy, set another goal. If your new goal is 50 pushups, for instance, break them down into five sets of 10. Record your sessions to monitor your progress; use this progression as motivation to increase the reps.
Don't Over Push It
As your chest muscles become stronger, you'll be able to increase the amount of reps. It's important to know that over-training your chest can potentially lead to injury. According to Len Kravitz, Ph.D., researcher and coordinator of exercise at the University of New Mexico, muscles are responsive and will adapt, but over-training can lead to injury. Shoulder-injuries are associated with pushing exercises. You're also vulnerable to injuring your wrists from applied-pressure each time you raise and lower your body.
Instead of over-training your chest by doing too many pushups, alternate the position of your hands to increase difficulty. For instance, close-grip pushups -- hands under shoulders -- not only target your chest, but also work your triceps. This is more challenging because you're pushing your body-weight with less leverage. You can set a goal with these, too. Start off with a moderate number and increase the reps as they become easier to perform. Remember to stretch before and after each session.