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Viewer mail: pushups & tricep strength.

Posted Oct 20 2009 10:01pm

I’m having trouble doing push ups correctly.  Can you recommend any particular exercises to increase wrist and tricep strength.

My biceps rock from running with weights, but because pushups are great for back and chest muscles I would like to do them more often. My husband says to just keep building up the number I can do but it’s lame not being able to do other exercises related to wrist strength like bridge poses for any length of time.
Thanks.

Ahh pushups.

I love to loathe them and YES strong triceps & wrists will help make them a bit easier.

First, check out here for a video of MizFit Works Out In Her Kitchen tricep exercises, here & here for a few easy at-home ways to increase your triceps strength.

In addition, you might try doing push-ups with your hands close together.

This shift in placement will not only work your chest but also put a great deal of stress (in a good way) on your tricep muscles.

Your email also makes me curious as to whether you are doing full-pushups or bent knee.

When I started doing pushups I didnt have the chest strength for full and, as you imply above, my triceps gave out far before my chest even had the chance to grow fatigued.

I started with bent knee push ups and focused on sheer volume (around 3 sets of twenty reps) and maintaining perfect, perfect form ( keep that core tight & dont “lock out” at the top.)

With regards to wrist pain I have a few ideas and am hoping the rest of you will chime in with your thoughts as well (not so subtle hint ).

I used to experience exactly what you describe when I did yoga: Im fatigued nowhere else but I need to stop for a few moments to give my wrists a break.

The first thing that helped me was to focus on placing my weight on my bottom knuckles/the ‘roots’ of the fingers and spreading my palm. Just this minor adjustment took the bulk of my weight off my wrists.

Next (and this sounds silly but it works) it was suggested to me to do the following exercise:

Clench my hand into a tight fist and move in circles first one direction and then the other.

I did this exercise a few times a day and now my wrist pain (during things like bridge pose) is virtually gone.

(If Im misunderstanding your email & your wrists ache during push ups you mightcould try these. Ive never used them but people oft sing their perfect-praises.)

Two other thoughts came to mind when I read your message (and thanks so much for it as Im confident you’re not alone):

Push ups should not be felt in your back muscles. While they do, technically, work your chest, triceps and front deltoid or shoulders—they do not work your back.

If you’re feeling muscle tension, for example, between your shoulder blades when doing push ups focus on relaxing that area and *connecting* mentally with the parts of your body which are doing the work (chest/tri/shoulders).

If you feel tension in the low back area check to be sure you aren’t sticking your butt glutes in the air when pushing upward (check out the push up link above if you’re unsure what Im describing).

Also, in my opinionthere is never a reason to run with weights.

Beyond the joint injuries which can occur one builds muscle efficiently by doing 8-12 repetitions to exhaustion not by carrying lighter weights around for an longer time period.

Yoga MizFits? Got any better wrist tips?

Any RunWithWeights’Fits who wanna show me the light and motivate my ass me to hit the road with the 5 pounders?

Im waiting.

Please to hit us all up in the comments.

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