Welcome to week #2 of our push-up challenge prep! If you are just joining in, check out our blog last week for your first week of exercises. How did your week go? Are you feeling stronger? Sore? Probably both if you are doing it correctly! Push-ups take a good bit of muscle strength, in your shoulders and core. Wondering if it will ever get easier? The answer is yes, but muscle building should not be easy. Increased muscle strength requires heavy loads of stress to the body to produce muscle growth. We are not talking about mental stress here. We are talking about applying a load of stress greater than what your body has previously adapted to. This process will cause micro-tears or damage to the muscle tissue. This damage is what causes you to be sore after your workouts. It is the inflammatory process your body stimulates to heal the micro-tears and muscle damage. Your body will adapt to loads of force that it endures daily. This is why the more you work out, the less discomfort you have post-workout. Let's talk about muscle contractions. There are two types of contractions that we use during strength training, Concentric and Eccentric. Most workouts you see use concentric contraction. This is when the muscle belly contracts, like when completing a bicep curl. We used this type of contraction in our push-ups last week. This week we are going to focus on eccentric contractions.
An Eccentric contraction is the controlled elongation of the muscle tissue. Another way to think of this is the slow lowering of the exercise. So for the push-up, our focus is on the slow lowering of the body to the ground. Studies show that your body can tolerate up to 1.75 times more weight during the eccentric phase of the exercise. The eccentric contraction builds stronger muscle faster. This week we are going to focus on the eccentric lowering of the push-up. Because your body can withstand more weight, I am going to ask you to switch up your modifications this week. Let's first review the difference between concentric and eccentric push-ups.
Now for your workout
We are going to repeat some of the same exercises as last week on days 2, 4, and 6. For a refresher on those exercises, you can refer to the previous post.
Day's 1, 3, and 5
Eccentric push-up days. You do not have to do 3 sets of 10 at one time. Break up your sets and do it a few times throughout your day. Because your body can tolerate more weight with the eccentric loading, I am asking that you decrease your modifications. If you were using the wall, move to the chair; if you were using the chair, move to the floor on your knees. If you were on your knees, move to a full pushup. Remember you can always use dumbbells for wrist support. Here are your new modifications.
*Important notes on form:
Keep your body in a straight line with your core held tight to protect your low back.
Keep your butt down and belly up. Even on the modified levels
Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle off your body. Not straight out, not against your body.
Keep your eyes gazed forward, keeping your neck in a good alignment.
Complete 3 sets of 10 reps (30 total). Remember to start at a more challenging level and modify when needed. You can break up the workout throughout your day. No need to be completed at one time.
Next week we will be starting our push-up challenge! Don't forget to send us your videos for critique. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Week #2 Calendar
Just a little disclaimer! By participating in this challenge,I acknowledge full responsibility for my health and safety during the workout. I agree to stop exercising immediately if I feel dizzy or light-headed or any pain or discomfort. I agree to have a cell phone or support person nearby in case of emergencies.