From the Blog

What is Your Push Up Strength?

It is easy to see your strength improving when you are lifting weights. But there are other ways to measure your strength. For instance, what is your push up strength?

To do this, we first must ensure you are executing push ups properly.

The 4 count push up

Take a video of you performing push ups and compare your form with this checklist and let me add more of an explanation to Step 2. For your shoulders to be rotated towards your spine, your hands will be under/in line with your shoulders and your elbows will be pointing back, not flared out.

push up alignment

After you believe you are following each of the 5 steps, film yourself again, and do it with a two count on the way down and a two count on the way up. Be sure to count “0-1-2″ to get the full 2 second count in each direction.

If you are performing push ups correctly, then progress to a more challenging variation. If you are having difficulty, modify. Whichever push up variation you choose, you can measure your strength based on the results of a study where researchers calculated the percentage of your bodyweight that you are actually pushing when you perform different types of push ups. This is your push up strength.

Feet elevated on a 24″ box – 74%
Feet elevated on a 12″ box – 70%
Regular Push Ups  – 64%
Hands elevated on a 12″ box – 55%
Knee Push Ups – 49%
Hands elevated on a 24” box – 41%

What does this mean to you?  Well, it probably means something different to everyone.  For some, it shows how much progress you can make as you continue to get stronger.  For others, it could encourage you to try more difficult push ups for a bigger challenge.  No matter your answer, you now have a better idea of how strong you really are.  Don’t forget – when performing push ups, proper form trumps quantity.

Not happy with where you are? Want to get even stronger? Start on a fitness plan designed for you!