Lifts Archives

Push Ups Vs. Bench Press

A push up is a simple bodyweight exercise performed by lowering and raising your body using your arms, while resting it on your toes. It is a strength-training exercise and focuses on almost all the chest muscles. A bench press, which is a crucial part of bodybuilding, is also a strength-training exercise, and is performed by pressing the weight of a barbell away from the body, while lying on your back on a bench. It does not work on all chest muscles and needs supporting exercises to ensure a complete chest workout.

Benefits of Push Ups

  • Here, you lift almost 60 to 65 percent of your body weight. But you don’t have to worry about it even if you are a little overweight, as the resistance you subject your body to during a push up, is proportional to the capacity of your body.
  • Once you are capable of doing twice the number you did when you started, you can try doing them with your feet elevated. This small change in position works all the core muscles and helps you in muscle building.
  • Numerous push up variations are possible that you can implement in stages and have a complete upper body workout. Simple variations that can be tried are – placing your hands on medicine balls instead of the floor, placing one hand on a medicine ball and the other on the floor, doing it on fists or fingertips, keeping the feet elevated above ground level, jumping up and clapping in between, etc.
  • Moreover, you do not need any equipment or a hefty gym membership to get all the benefits of a good workout. This is because, in a bench press, your shoulder joints have to support excess weight, and if not done correctly it can cause small injuries. So it is advised that all the gym exercises should be done under the supervision of a qualified trainer This is an important benefit of push ups.

bench press

Benefits of Bench Press

  • This is an essential routine if you want more intense strength training along with gaining mass. Here, you can add as much resistance as you want by adding weights to the barbell.
  • While doing so, you have the option of going for positive or negative training. You just have to lower the bar for negative training, and push the bar back up for positive training.
  • It also allows you to work your upper body parts individually. This happens, because you are lying on the bench, and your lower back does not come into play. You can also choose to work separately on your chest and triceps, which cannot happen while doing push ups.
  • Even a very heavy person can work out with this exercise, whereas he may be unable to do a single push up.

This weight training comparison cannot have a single definite verdict. If you are looking for basic fitness and natural bodybuilding, the former exercise will be more than enough for you. Also, there are many ways of bringing about variations. But if you want to increase and build muscle strength by a great deal, go for bench press.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

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Weight Training Do’s and Dont’s

Over the years I have observed thousands of people training in almost every kind of gym. Watching someone work out, it is simple to almost instantly evaluate the level of their experience. Advanced lifters are easy to spot by their intensity and attention to form and focus. Intermediate trainees show signs of progress although they are often found chatting around the squat rack.

In the third and largest group are beginners and usually they are completely lost. They don’t understand the principles of resistance training, don’t have a plan and don’t know how to perform the basic movements. They go haphazardly through the motions, flirt with injury, see minimal improvement and usually drop out.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! The fundamental principles of weight training are simple. Here are the top five that will take you a long way toward becoming lean, strong and fit.

1. FORM AND FUNCTION. You have to understand the movement and the purpose of each exercise. Books or online videos are good learning tools if you pay attention to the details. Forget about the “muscle mags”. The quickest way to get off to a good start is to hire an experienced certified personal trainer who is willing to teach you how to lift. With each exercise, make sure you understand exactly which muscles you are training and learn to feel them work.

2. SLOW DOWN. This is related to form but deserves special attention. Throughout the entire exercise, you must be in complete control of the weight. Most trainees perform the movements too quickly. When you swing a heavy weight out of control you increase the risk of injury, but you also allow inertia to do the work instead of fully challenging the muscle.

TEMPO is important. Because most trainees use a weight that is too heavy, they perform the exercises with rushed and jerky movements. SLOW DOWN. A good norm is to lower the weight to a count of three (3), raise powerfully to a count of one (1) and pause in the contracted position for a one (1) count before lowering again. This can be expressed as a 3.1.1 cadence.

3. COMPOUND EXERCISES. Trash your body building magazines that show champions doing hundreds of bicep curls and focus on exercises that develop full-body strength and conditioning. Additionally, most people are concerned with burning calories and losing weight. This is done by emphasizing basic, compound exercises. These are the ones that work the body’s largest muscle groups in conjunction with one another.

Primary muscles are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, back, chest and shoulders. The primary compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rowing and overhead presses. DO NOT waste time doing isolation exercises for biceps, triceps, forearms and the individual small muscles of the shoulder. These are worked adequately as part of the large compound movements.

4. USE THE CORRECT WEIGHT. Beginners use too little weight and then, if they are bold, progress to using weights that are too heavy. The definition of the correct weight is one that challenges you to work VERY HARD on the last repetition of your exercise but allows you to do so in PERFECT FORM. If the weight is too light you will not overload the muscle sufficiently to stimulate growth. If the weight is too heavy you will cheat, swinging and swaying and allowing inertia to do the work for you.

5. EXERCISE PERSISTENCE AND PATIENCE. All good things are earned and take time. PERSISTENCE says that consistency is critical and that you will see real results in about twelve weeks if…. you DON’T SKIP WORKOUTS and if you challenge yourself to work hard during every session.

BE PATIENT and resist trying every red-hot workout you read about. Most of them are nothing more than variations of basic programs. Give your current routine a chance to work. Patience also says that more is not necessarily better. You need at least forty-eight hours rest between weight workouts and when you are stronger you may need seventy-two hours or more to recover. Remember that plenty of rest and a diet of fresh, unprocessed food provides a foundation for all of your hard work.

Resistance training is the fastest way to lose weight, change your body shape, increase strength and improve your health. You can do it if you learn to make a sport out of it (or better yet, a game). Take the time to learn proper technique, apply a high degree of vigor to every workout and see just how good you can get.

And always remember… “Be Strong…. Be Lean”.

Howard McGarity is a “Human Performance Specialist”, Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach who has studied nutrition and exercise science for most of his fifty-six years. He creates online programs for MyVirtualGym.com as an effective way to help busy people learn the best ways to get permanently lean, strong and healthy. Get the Free e-book, “The Five Fastest Ways to Fitness”> http://www.MyVirtualGym.com/

Explode Through Tackles Using Power Cleans

Power cleans are an excellent exercise for football players to practice exploding off the ball and through other players. The whole concept of football is to hit the other guy harder than he hit you. Here we’re going to go through the usage of a proper power clean and how it can help your players explode through your tackles on the gridiron.

Many coaches have their players do hang cleans, but this is only half of the movement. A football player is trained to bend low at the knees and explode up through the hips and chest at the target. A power clean reflects this movement better than a hang clean by forcing the player to start with knees bent and bring the weight from the ground. If a player can learn to explode from the ground up, they will generate more force toward the player they are hitting than if they starting generating power halfway through the movement.

Power cleans are a full body compound exercise, so if your split is based around muscle groups you may be confused about where to fit it in. I don’t use muscle group splits with athletes but if they are already in one, I add power cleans to the leg day. Power cleans are crucial to football and most resemble the motion used by players to make or break tackles so I make them the first exercise of the day after warm up so that the athlete is fresh and can give 110% to the movement. Depending on whether the player is in season, pre-season or off-season will determine the percentage of one rep max (1RM) and sets and reps used. If the player was in off season the exercise would be set up like this.

Power Clean

1 set x 15 reps at 50% 1RM

2 sets x 12 reps at 60% 1RM

2 sets x 5 reps at 80% 1RM

By setting up the lift like this, you give the athlete two types of training. Repetitive endurance training in the higher rep ranges and power and strength in the lower rep range with higher weight. Make sure that the athlete places an emphasis on proper form over weight lifted. Speed will generate more force during the hit than strength and it is important to make it clear to the athlete that the power clean is a tool to make the athlete faster as well as stronger. It is a good idea to combine the power cleans with work on the jammer or explosive squats to prove this point. The athlete should have a faster explosion through the movement with the same weight after training with power cleans.

Using this exercises in a well balanced training program will create a faster, more explosive athlete off the ball and at the tackle. Remember to always focus on safety and good form and never pressure athletes to lift more weight than they are capable. As always be safe and have a good lift.

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