How Should Women do Push-ups

Discussion in 'Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)' started by FieldDiscipline, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Mmm, depends on how tall they are. ;)
     
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  2. watching

    watching Green Belt

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    From what I'v read and been told, women can do pushups on their toes without negative repercussions. The rumor that women should only do pushups on their knees is just that- a rumor. I suspect it came from the era when little science was understood and men had all kinds of assumptions about women being inferior and frail. I've been training and doing regular full pushups for years, without any issues.
     
  3. Daniela455

    Daniela455 White Belt

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    I have always been told that women should do them with legs flexed
     
  4. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    And what is the reason for that?
     
  5. Superperson

    Superperson Yellow Belt

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    I'm currently doing my push ups on my knees since I lack the upper body strength to do them on my toes, but even though I'm a girl I still plan o doing normal toe push ups when I can! I don't see any reason not to personalty.
     
  6. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I don't believe you...

    There's very little difference in the load on your upper body between doing full length pushups and knee cheats.

    I reckon you "can't" do full pushups because you either lack core strength, or more likely, don't know how to engage it properly.

    Lie on your front, suck in and tense your gut, clamp your cheeks together, squeeze your thighs in - then hold that and try again. If you still can't do it look at your arm position.

    Also, forget numbers and look at time instead if you have a need to count - 45 seconds. One pushup with full range of motion and good form is far better for you than ten floppy cheats.
     
  7. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    When you say " little differance" what are you meaning in % terms, my understanding is shortening the lever length makes a significant difference ?
     
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  8. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Right, so I just went and did some pushups.

    I put the bathroom scales on the floor, put my hands on them.

    Knees: 35kg at full arm extension, 38kg almost fully bent. Hovered around 37kg while going up and down.

    Toes: 39kg full extension, 43kg almost fully bent. Hovered around 41-42kg up and down.

    I'll use the average, so:

    Knees: 37kg
    Toes: 42kg

    Difference of 5kg

    So that's an 11.9% reduction if swapping from toes to knees. Or a 13.5% increase if knees are your reference.

    Previous to doing the measurement I was estimating 10%, so not far off and actually well within the realms of measurement tolerance.
     
  9. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    Well studies, say it's about a quarter\ 25% decrease in effective load,or 15 % of your body weight Less, so your a bit light there! that is quite significant
    How Much of Your Body Weight Do You Lift in a Push-Up?
     
  10. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    PDg, is correct, not only are you lifting a much lower weight with the knee push ups, your not working your lower body, much oR at all, your better doing a proper push up with your body raised on a bench etc and then looking to lower your body eventually to ground level to get the all over benefits of a push up
     
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  11. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Try it yourself then.

    If all you wanted to do was go "ooh I'm so clever for proving you wrong by linking a random unverified study" then really, don't bother asking.
     
  12. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Actually, I think I can see how they got the figure so high...

    If you lift your feet a bit off the ground while doing it on knees, the additional leverage would reduce the load the other side of the fulcrum.
     
  13. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    So, A is a normal pushup. B is on knees. C is on knees with feet lifted.

    A compared to B, not a great difference, basically adding the additional weight of the increased lever length (more leg).

    C however, reduces the load much more because your lower legs and feet are using gravity to push down on the other side of the fulcrum, assisting in you lifting the load.

    15313882008151583377698.jpg
     
  14. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    If you are really short, it will mess the figures up, so your perhaps not the best person to use as a model
     
  15. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Just tried it with feet lifted slightly...

    About 2kg lighter.

    Hurt my knees...

    I'll stick to toes from now on ;)
     
  16. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    The ONS reckons the average English male is 5'9" and just over 13 stone.

    I'm 2" taller and 2 stone lighter...
     
  17. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    Oh, I though you said you were 5,6/8 faulty memory,

    Push ups should be a breeze for you, they are disproportionately harder for heavy people and harder still for Tall heavy people like me, that's my excuse anyway ?

    The female push up, is also disproportionately harder, as women have on average 60% of the strength but 70/80% of the body weight,Height for height, they are also tend to have a higher % of body weight higher up the trunk, making it effectively heavier to lift,
     
  18. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    That's why I rarely bother with normal pushups - I could go for higher reps but I'm not a great believer in that methodology.

    Generally I'll do them with one leg tucked up by my side, or lift alternate legs in time with the 'up', or plyo (clapping) ones, or inclined with my feet on a table/against a wall. At worst, extra slow motion, sometimes weighted.

    If an exercise is easy, it's not really exercise...
     
  19. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    I've never been good at push ups, even when I weigh the same as you, in my early 20s,20 Odd and that's me done I find putting my legs up high to make them easier, or at least no more difficult even though the weight is greater, so Must be a technique thing
     
  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I feel a pretty significant difference between the two positions. If I do full-body pushups to fatigue (usually, it's my shoulders and upper arms that fatigue out first), I can immediately switch to my knees and do several more.
     

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