Push-ups are a great way to build upper body strength and endurance. They are also a relatively easy exercise to learn, and can be done anywhere with no equipment. However, for many people, even one push-up can seem daunting. If you are a beginner, don’t worry! With a little practice, you will be able to do 20 military push-ups in no time.
Push-ups are widely regarded as one of the most effective bodyweight exercises, benefiting not only the chest, but also the arms, shoulders, back, and core. Being able to perform military push-ups is a mark of fitness and strength, but achieving this level of physical prowess can be quite daunting, especially if you are a beginner. This comprehensive guide, “How to Do 20 Military Push-ups (Even If You’re a Beginner),” by Chris Abraham, is designed to help you conquer that challenge, one push-up at a time.
This step-by-step training program is designed to gradually build your strength and endurance, easing you from basic strength exercises to full military push-ups over a period of weeks. It also emphasizes the importance of mental strength, setting realistic goals, and maintaining consistency, reminding us that progress is a journey, not a race.
Whether you have never done a push-up before or are looking to take your fitness to the next level, this guide will provide you with the necessary tools and strategies. From wall push-ups and planks to full push-ups and their variations, each phase is thoughtfully planned to bring you closer to your goal. This guide not only lays out the physical path to 20 military push-ups but also addresses the mental hurdles and provides practical tips to overcome them.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how you could possibly reach the milestone of 20 military push-ups, or if you’ve been looking for a detailed, beginner-friendly guide to improving your overall strength and fitness, this is the article for you. Let’s begin this empowering journey together, and remember, the key to progress is patience, persistence, and positivity.
The Basics of a Push-Up
A push-up is an exercise in which you support your body weight on your hands and forearms, and lower and raise your body by bending and extending your elbows. To do a push-up correctly, follow these steps:
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor, with your fingers facing forward.
- Place your body in a straight line from your head to your heels, with your back flat and your core engaged.
- Lower your body until your chest touches the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position.
The Strict Military Pushup
A military push-up is a type of push-up that is performed in a strict form. This means that the body is kept in a straight line from the head to the heels, and the core is engaged throughout the entire movement. Military push-ups are a great way to build upper body strength and endurance, and they can also help to improve your posture.
To do a military push-up, start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Your core should be engaged, and your back should be straight. Slowly lower your body down until your chest touches the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Push yourself back up to the starting position, and repeat.
Here are some tips for doing a perfect military push-up:
- Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Engage your core throughout the entire movement.
- Keep your back straight.
- Lower your body down until your chest touches the ground.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position.
- Don’t let your hips sag or your back arch.
- If you can’t do a full military push-up, start with push-ups on your knees.
- As you get stronger, you can work your way up to full military push-ups.
With practice, you’ll be able to do a perfect military push-up in no time!
Perfecting the Military Strict Push-Up
A military strict push-up, also known as a standard push-up in fitness circles, is a full body workout that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is a staple of physical fitness tests in various military branches, hence the name. Here are the steps to execute a perfect military strict push-up:
Start by positioning yourself face down on the ground. Extend your legs straight behind you, with your toes touching the ground. Place your palms flat on the floor, slightly wider than your shoulders but in line with them. This will be your starting position.
2. Engage Your Core:
Before you begin the push-up, tighten your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This keeps your body straight and prevents your lower back from sagging.
3. Lowering Your Body:
Slowly lower your body towards the ground, while maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels. Keep your elbows close to your body as you descend. They should form a 45-degree angle with your torso when viewed from above. Be sure to inhale as you lower your body.
4. The Bottom Position:
Go all the way down until your chest lightly touches the ground. Your body should still be straight, your core engaged, and your head in a neutral position, meaning you’re looking slightly ahead of you, not straight down.
5. Rising Up:
Once your chest has touched the ground, exhale and push your body up by extending your arms. Remember to keep your elbows slightly bent at the top of the movement to avoid hyperextension. Your body should rise as one unit, with your chest leaving the ground before your hips.
Return to the starting position, and you’re ready for the next repetition. Continue to maintain the correct form for each push-up.
Remember, the key to a perfect military strict push-up is to maintain a straight body line throughout the movement, to keep your elbows close to your body, and to ensure your chest (not your stomach) touches the ground first. As you get more comfortable with the movement, you can start to increase your speed slightly, but never at the expense of form. It’s better to do fewer push-ups correctly than a larger number with poor form.
Note: If you’re unable to perform a military strict push-up initially, you can begin with modified versions like knee push-ups or inclined push-ups and gradually progress to the standard version as you build strength.
How to Progress to 20 Push-Ups
If you are a beginner, don’t worry if you can’t do a full push-up right away. There are a few things you can do to build up your strength and endurance:
- Start with wall push-ups. To do a wall push-up, place your hands shoulder-width apart on a wall, and lower your body until your chest touches the wall.
- Use a push-up assist band. A push-up assist band is a band that you loop around your hands and helps to support your body weight.
- Do push-ups on your knees. To do a push-up on your knees, simply place your knees on the ground instead of your feet.
Once you can do a few push-ups on your knees, you can start to work on doing full push-ups. Here are a few tips:
- Start with a few push-ups each day, and gradually increase the number of push-ups you do each day.
- Focus on form over quantity. It’s better to do a few push-ups with good form than to do many with bad form.
- Take breaks when you need them. If you get tired, take a short break and then start again.
- Don’t give up! With a little practice, you will be able to do 20 push-ups in no time.
Benefits of Push-Ups
Push-ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength and endurance. They also work your core muscles, and can help to improve your posture. Push-ups are a low-impact exercise, so they are a good option for people with joint pain. They are also a great way to get a full-body workout without any equipment.
Phase 1: Building Basic Strength
- Wall Pushups: Stand a few feet away from a wall, lean forward and place your hands on the wall at shoulder width and shoulder height. Bend your elbows to bring your chest closer to the wall, then push back to the starting position. This is a great exercise to start building the basic strength needed for pushups. Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Planks: Get into a pushup position but keep your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your body straight and hold this position for as long as you can, aim for at least 30 seconds. Planks help to build your core strength, which is important for maintaining the proper pushup form.
- Incline Pushups: Place your hands on a bench or a sturdy table, with your feet on the ground. This reduces the amount of your body weight you have to lift, making the pushup easier. Aim for 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
- Negative Pushups: Get into the top of a pushup position, then slowly lower yourself down as slowly as you can. This helps to build strength in the lowering phase of the pushup. Aim for 3 sets of 5 repetitions.
Phase 2: Pushup Progression
- Knee Pushups: Get into a pushup position but with your knees on the ground. This reduces the amount of your body weight you have to lift, making the pushup easier. Aim for 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
- Half Pushups: Start in a pushup position, lower yourself halfway down, then push back up. This helps to build strength in the range of motion used in a full pushup. Aim for 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
- Full Pushups: You should now be ready to attempt full pushups. Remember, form is important: keep your body straight and lower yourself until your chest touches the ground, then push back up. Start with as many as you can do, even if it’s just one or two.
- Pushup Ladder: Start with one pushup, rest, then do two pushups, rest, and so on, until you can’t do any more. This is a great way to build endurance and strength.
Phase 3: Increase Pushup Count
Weeks 9 and beyond
- Multiple Sets: Do as many pushups as you can, rest, then do another set, for a total of 3-5 sets. Your goal is to gradually increase the total number of pushups you can do.
- Pushup Variations: Start incorporating different pushup variations to challenge your muscles in different ways, such as wide pushups, diamond pushups, and decline pushups.
- Strength Training: Incorporate other strength training exercises into your routine to help build the muscles used in pushups, such as bench press, overhead press, and tricep dips.
While physical training is important, the mental aspect is equally crucial. Here are some tips:
- Set Goals: Setting small, achievable goals will help keep you motivated. Start with something simple, like doing one full pushup, then gradually increase your goals as you get stronger.
- Visualization: Visualize yourself doing pushups. This not only prepares your mind for the task but also helps to build neural pathways that can aid in physical performance.
- Positive Self-Talk: Encourage yourself with positive statements like “I can do this” or “I’m getting stronger every day.” This can help you overcome mental barriers and increase your confidence.
- Consistency: Consistency is key in any exercise routine. Make a schedule and stick to it. Knowing that you have a specific time to exercise can make it easier to stay committed.
- Rest and Recovery: Understand that rest is a crucial part of getting stronger. It’s during rest that your muscles repair and grow. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking rest days between intense workouts.
- Nutrition: Fuel your body with proper nutrition. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth, and complex carbohydrates can provide the energy you need for your workouts.
- Patience: Remember, progress may be slow, but as long as you’re consistent, you will see improvements. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like.
- Reward Yourself: When you reach a goal, no matter how small, celebrate it. This could be as simple as taking a moment to acknowledge your success, or you could treat yourself to something you enjoy.
- Mindfulness: Be mindful while exercising. Pay attention to your form, your breathing, and the way your muscles feel. This can help you stay focused and avoid injury.
- Find a Training Partner or Coach: Having someone to train with or a coach to guide you can be a great source of motivation. They can provide encouragement, help you stay committed, and make your training more enjoyable.
Remember, the journey to doing 20 military pushups may be challenging, but with perseverance and dedication, you’ll get there.
1. Set realistic goals
The first step is to set realistic goals for yourself. If you’ve never done a military push-up before, don’t expect to be able to do 20 in a row overnight. Start by setting a goal of being able to do one military push-up. Once you can do one, you can gradually increase your goal to two, then three, and so on.
2. Find a good training program
There are many different training programs available online and in fitness magazines. It’s important to find a program that is tailored to your fitness level and goals. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to find a program that starts with basic exercises and gradually progresses to more challenging ones.
3. Be patient
It takes time and patience to build the strength and endurance necessary to do 20 military push-ups. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do one military push-up right away. Just keep practicing and you’ll eventually reach your goal.
4. Stay motivated
One of the biggest challenges of training for military push-ups is staying motivated. It can be discouraging to see yourself struggling to do even one military push-up. However, it’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere. Just keep practicing and you’ll eventually see improvement.
5. Get help from a qualified trainer
If you’re struggling to get started or you’re not sure if you’re doing the exercises correctly, it’s a good idea to get help from a qualified trainer. A trainer can help you create a personalized training program and provide you with motivation and support.
6. Don’t give up
The most important thing is to not give up. If you stick with it, you will eventually be able to do 20 military push-ups. Just keep practicing and you’ll reach your goal.
Here are some additional tips that may help you achieve your goal of doing 20 military push-ups:
- Focus on form over quantity. It’s better to do a few military push-ups with good form than to do many with bad form.
- Warm up before you start training. This will help to prevent injuries.
- Cool down after you finish training. This will help your body to recover.
- Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep. This will help your body to build muscle and strength.
- Be patient. It takes time and effort to build the strength and endurance necessary to do 20 military push-ups.
I hope this helps!
Here are some additional thoughts and advice that may help you achieve your goal of doing 20 military push-ups:
- Believe in yourself. It’s important to believe that you can achieve your goal. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be much harder to reach your goal.
- Set small goals. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Set small goals that you can achieve, and then gradually increase your goals as you get stronger.
- Don’t give up. There will be times when you want to give up. But it’s important to remember why you started in the first place. Keep pushing yourself, and you will eventually reach your goal.
And once you reach that goal, you’ll realize that you’re capable of even more. I hope this helps!
Push-ups are a great exercise for people of all fitness levels. If you are a beginner, don’t worry if you can’t do a full push-up right away. Just start with a few push-ups each day, and gradually increase the number of push-ups you do each day. With a little practice, you will be able to do 20 push-ups in no time.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
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