Push-ups are a classic exercise that work numerous muscle groups including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. They are a great exercise to build upper body strength, and with the addition of weight, it can take your workout to the next level. However, doing a weighted push-up can be challenging, and incorrect form can lead to injury. In this article, we will give you tips on how to properly do a weighted push-up, add weight safely, and get the most out of your workout.
Why Do Weighted Push-Ups?
Weighted push-ups are an effective way to increase the overall strength and size of your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Adding weight to a push-up challenges the muscles more than a traditional push-up, resulting in a greater level of growth and strength. It also improves your overall fitness and helps to build functional strength for daily activities and sports.
How to Do a Weighted Push-Up
Doing a proper weighted push-up is essential to seeing results and avoiding injury. Here are the steps to do a proper weighted push-up:
Step 1: Warm-Up
Before starting any exercise, it’s important to warm-up your muscles. A warm-up should be around five to ten minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or dynamic stretches that will get your blood pumping and increase your range of motion. This will help to prevent injury and improve your performance during your workout.
Step 2: Start With A Flat Surface
Find a flat surface where you can easily perform a push-up. Place your weight of choice to the side, ready to be added in the next step.
Step 3: Set Up Your Weight
Add weight to your push-up by placing a weight plate or sandbag on your back. Make sure that the weight is evenly distributed on your upper back and that it is not too heavy. It’s important to start with a weight that is comfortable for you and slowly increase it over time.
Step 4: Get in Push-Up Position
Get into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your elbows tucked slightly inward. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet.
Step 5: Perform the Push-Up
Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows. Make sure that your elbows are pointing towards your toes and not flaring out to the sides. Your body should be in a straight line throughout the exercise.
Step 6: Repeat
Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of reps or until you reach muscle fatigue.
How Much Weight Should You Add?
The amount of weight you add to the push-up will depend on your level of fitness and strength. It’s important to start with a weight that is comfortable for you and slowly increase it over time. It’s recommended to increase the weight by 5-10% every week to ensure proper muscle adaptation and avoid injury.
Benefits of Weighted Push-Ups
Here are some benefits of doing weighted push-ups:
- Increased muscle activation in the chest, shoulders, and triceps
- Builds overall upper body strength and size
- Improves core stability
- Helps to improve sports performance
- Enhances functional strength that can help with everyday activities
Common Mistakes When Doing Weighted Push-Ups
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when doing weighted push-ups:
- Adding too much weight too soon
- Keeping a flat back instead of a straight line from your head to your feet
- Starting with your arms too wide or elbows flaring out
- Not using proper breathing technique
- Rushing through the exercise with poor form
Tips for Progressing Your Weighted Push-Ups
If you want to make your weighted push-ups more challenging, you can try the following tips:
- Add more weight gradually
- Try doing push-ups with one arm
- Increase the number of reps or sets
- Incorporate plyometric push-ups like clap push-ups or explosive push-ups
- Use a BOSU ball to add instability and challenge your core muscles
Frequently Asked Questions
What muscles do weighted push-ups work?
Weighted push-ups work multiple muscle groups including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and upper back.
How do I know how much weight to add?
You should start with a weight that is comfortable for you and slowly increase it over time. It’s recommended to increase the weight by 5-10% every week to ensure proper muscle adaptation and avoid injury.
Are weighted push-ups hard?
Yes, weighted push-ups are a challenging exercise, but they are a great way to increase your strength and muscle size.
How many reps of weighted push-ups should I do?
The number of reps will depend on your fitness level and goals. It’s recommended to do 8-12 reps with a weight that challenges you. If you’re looking for endurance, you can do more reps with a lighter weight.
Can weighted push-ups replace bench press?
Weighted push-ups are a great addition to your overall workout routine, but they cannot replace bench press. Bench press is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups and allows you to lift heavier weights.
Now that you know how to do a weighted push-up, it’s time to add it to your workout routine. Remember to warm-up and start with a comfortable weight, and gradually increase it over time. With proper form and a consistent routine, weighted push-ups can help you build upper body strength and size while improving your overall fitness level.