push-up and bench press

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timothy
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push-up and bench press

Post by timothy » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:58 pm

What does the bench press due for me that push-ups won't? Vice versa?

FWIW, my push-up max now is like 30 or so while my bench is about 165. I weigh about 175.

Along these lines, what about lunges or step-ups vs squats?

I really like one of the basic work-outs I've seen on the 'basic routines' sticky that includes bench press, stiff-leg deadlift, squats, and bent-row or pull-ups. Since I lack a bench and squat rack at home, I normally do push-ups in place of bench and lunges or step-ups in place of squats. Does that seem legit?


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Post by caangelxox » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:06 pm

How wide are you doing your push ups? As your push ups get easier, make your hands closer. The closer your hands are together, the harder the push up becomes. You will only think its easy if you can do a 1 hand push up. If not, then you got work to do. You should be able to do a diamond push up, medicine ball push up on 2 balls (1 ball under each hand), medicine ball push up with hands on only 1 ball, etc. You got to challange yourself. My goal is 1 arm push up and 1 arm pull up as well. I have a long way to go though because I need to be able to do diamond push ups with at least 15 reps and do all the progressions.

Also in replacement of squats (other than just lunges or step up), do a 1 legged squat (works your balance and ankle stability). you should get to where you should do a pistol. I want to be able to do that as well. I have a while to go before reaching my bodyweight goals. I mix weights with bodyweight exercises. Also, don't forget the king deadlift. Its like a regular deadlift, but with one leg (can use body weight or when you can get down all the way, can start using weight). the leg that is up is in back if you bent and just going along with the ride. Also - dont forget those inverted rows! I superset inverted rows with push ups. once strong enough, 1 arm can be done on inverted rows as well. If you can do a push up, you have to be able to do inverted rows. Its just opposite of a push up. You need a bar to hold onto and a bench to hold your feet on and you have to be a table when the bar touches your chest or the bar is too high or too low.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:33 pm

just do body weight squats dude!!!!

after you can do A LOT, do it while holding milk juggs.

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Post by caangelxox » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:58 pm

bodyweight 1 legged squats actually! (I mean all the way down)

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Post by Rik-Blades » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:59 pm

timothy wrote:What does the bench press due for me that push-ups won't? Vice versa?

FWIW, my push-up max now is like 30 or so while my bench is about 165. I weigh about 175.

Along these lines, what about lunges or step-ups vs squats?

I really like one of the basic work-outs I've seen on the 'basic routines' sticky that includes bench press, stiff-leg deadlift, squats, and bent-row or pull-ups. Since I lack a bench and squat rack at home, I normally do push-ups in place of bench and lunges or step-ups in place of squats. Does that seem legit?
Depends on your goals, but yes, they are legit.

Single leg stuff is great, you can get a great workout doing single leg squats, lunges and step ups. They are very good for hip flexibility too.

Push ups are pretty much the same as bench, except they are VERY good for shoulder health at the same time, as most people start off benching incorrectly and end up with bad shoulders.

I like to do my push ups on two dumbells. You can go deeper, good for the wrists and it throws in some instability too, which makes it more challenging. Push ups translate to about 2/3rds of your bodyweight because of the legs being on the floor etc. If they are too easy, try a backpack with some weights in it to make it harder/heavier.


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Post by caangelxox » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:14 pm

rik - can you do 1 arm push ups? I am trying to get strong enough to do that. I want to be able to do a 1 arm inverted row as well.

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Post by frigginwizard » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:31 pm

Rik-Blades wrote: I like to do my push ups on two dumbells. You can go deeper, good for the wrists and it throws in some instability too, which makes it more challenging.
Ive seen them get criticized a lot, but I picked up a pair of "perfect pushups" for $10 and I live them for the same reasons you like the dumbbell pushups
Rik-Blades wrote:Push ups translate to about 2/3rds of your bodyweight because of the legs being on the floor etc. If they are too easy, try a backpack with some weights in it to make it harder/heavier.
other options for making them harder are to set your hands closer together, and elevate your feet.

I also like setting up on chairs, I put a push handle on each chair and my feet on a third. Its a bit awkward to get into postion, but then you have unlimited depth.

*edit
oh, and theres the plyometric approach of throwing yourself off the floor on each rep.

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Post by Rik-Blades » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:52 pm

caangelxox wrote:rik - can you do 1 arm push ups? I am trying to get strong enough to do that. I want to be able to do a 1 arm inverted row as well.
I can, but I dont like the crunching sound from my shoulder when I do them :lol: I've worked really hard at apologizing to my shoulder over the past few months and it's finally forgiven me.

I dont see the point, I can't see myself needing one arm pushup ability.


frigginwizard wrote:Rik-Blades wrote:

I like to do my push ups on two dumbells. You can go deeper, good for the wrists and it throws in some instability too, which makes it more challenging.

Ive seen them get criticized a lot, but I picked up a pair of "perfect pushups" for $10 and I live them for the same reasons you like the dumbbell pushups

Rik-Blades wrote:
Push ups translate to about 2/3rds of your bodyweight because of the legs being on the floor etc. If they are too easy, try a backpack with some weights in it to make it harder/heavier.

other options for making them harder are to set your hands closer together, and elevate your feet.
I don't personally see the problem with 'perfect pushups', simply the same sort of thing as dumbell as far as I can see. I wont spend money on something that I already have. But for what you paid, good on ya! Saves messing with what plates you might use, saves time.

Putting the hands together will make it harder, just more tricep/less chest dependant, just like close grip bench.

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Post by caangelxox » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:33 pm

why would your shoulders crunch? My knees sometimes crunch when I do squats or elbows sometimes when I do push ups, but I think its only if its not done perfectly is when they all crunch. same with walking. sometimes I can get lazy when walking and my knees crunch

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:33 pm

I don't think that push-ups and bench press really substitute for each other. I like to have them both in my routines most of the time. When I can't get to free weights (traveling, etc) I do more elaborate push-ups, using most of the variations that have been mentioned here.

Just to expand on what Rik mentioned, push-ups should involve movement of the scapulae (shoulder blades) and bench press should not. On bench the scapulae should be planted firmly on the bench, and should not move. Once the shoulders (ie glenohumeral joints) are fully extended you have the weight up as far as you should go. With PUs the motion should continue until the scapulae are fully protracted (moved forward) on each rep.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:45 pm

Shoulders can crunch for the same sorts of reasons that any joint can; worn, frayed cartilage, things not aligned ideally, etc. In addition, with the shoulder, things can get caught under the acromian and slip out with a crunching or popping feeling/sound. Shoulders are a lot more complicated than the knees (or any other joint that I can think of) so it's not surprising that there are more problems that can occur in them.

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:47 pm

Jungledoc wrote:I don't think that push-ups and bench press really substitute for each other.
Yeah. If you've got a bar at home, you can try floor presses as a substitute for bench presses. Or front squat if you've got a place to ditch the bar - do a clean to get it into position or get (or build) a rack and go from there. Or use heavy dumbbells or some other weight - a heavy bag or sandbag perhaps - for zercher squats.

Not saying lunges and pushups are bad, but they aren't your only options. In my experience, they don't work well as squat and bench press substitutes any more than squats and bench presses act as lunge and pushup substitutes. They're sufficiently different to make them both work well. If you're doing 30 pushups and benching 165 at 175, you're were I was not long ago - pushups in the 30+ range no problem, but barely benching my bodyweight. I needed to do both to improve both...

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Post by caangelxox » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:25 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Shoulders can crunch for the same sorts of reasons that any joint can; worn, frayed cartilage, things not aligned ideally, etc. In addition, with the shoulder, things can get caught under the acromian and slip out with a crunching or popping feeling/sound. Shoulders are a lot more complicated than the knees (or any other joint that I can think of) so it's not surprising that there are more problems that can occur in them.
Can it be avoided or fixed?

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Post by Rik-Blades » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:10 am

Jungledoc wrote:I don't think that push-ups and bench press really substitute for each other. I like to have them both in my routines most of the time. When I can't get to free weights (traveling, etc) I do more elaborate push-ups, using most of the variations that have been mentioned here.
Yes, I totally aggree. I would certainly invest in a bench as soon as I could, but in the absence of the bench they are certainly a great exercise.
caangelxox wrote:why would your shoulders crunch? My knees sometimes crunch when I do squats or elbows sometimes when I do push ups, but I think its only if its not done perfectly is when they all crunch. same with walking. sometimes I can get lazy when walking and my knees crunch
Depends really. I weigh quite a bit (218lbs) at around 13% BF. I suppose if I was lighter then it would be easier on my shoulders. Also, i'm no spring chicken. At 39, i'm not the oldest lifter here, but if I was younger, then I might get away with it a bit more.

Remember, I've not helped my cause much. Bad form and muscle imbalances at the beginning of my lifting life slowly developed into left shoulder pain. I addressed it before it was too late though and now it's fine, but I take note when I hear sounds I dont like.

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:06 am

caangelxox wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:Shoulders can crunch for the same sorts of reasons that any joint can; worn, frayed cartilage, things not aligned ideally, etc. In addition, with the shoulder, things can get caught under the acromian and slip out with a crunching or popping feeling/sound. Shoulders are a lot more complicated than the knees (or any other joint that I can think of) so it's not surprising that there are more problems that can occur in them.
Can it be avoided or fixed?
Depends on what the exact cause is. Rik can avoid it by not doing 1-arm push-ups. I can avoid it by not doing wide-grip pull-ups. My friend Larry avoids them because he had the end of his acromion surgically removed.


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