Are Push-Ups an Effective Workout?

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Question: I train at home and outside usually but don’t regularly go to a gym. How effective are pushups for building upper body and what else is good without using weights? What is the best way to run, distance or sprints?
Answer: If you are disciplined enough to maintain that routine, then it can be very effective for building a conditioned look with your physique. You won’t be able to build huge muscles but will stay very healthy and have an athletic appearance, especially if you are as disciplined with how you eat.
Push-ups can be very effective exercise with a little creativity. Modified push-ups, done with your knees touching the ground, engage about 49%of your body weight. Standard push-ups use 64% of your body weight. If you need more resistance a standard bench is between 18″ and 24″ high. Placing your feet on that with your hands on the ground increases resistance to 74% of your body weight while placing you hands on the bench keeping your feet on the floor reduces the stress to 41% of your body weight.
You can get creative with jumping jack push-ups by spreading your feet as you lower your body and pulling them back together as you push up.
Running man push-ups require you to lift one foot with your leg straight as you go down. Push up again then raise the other foot as you lower yourself. Pick up the pace and you look like you are running while you do push-ups.
You could add pull-ups to your routine for a more balanced approach.
You can use a variation of running routines to be most effective. One day do a longer run of 2 miles or more. Day 2 do an interval run using time or distance intervals. Day 3 do stairs or hill sprints. Day 4 do two sets each of sprints of 400 meters, 300 meters, 200 meters and finish with 100 meters. This gives you a good variety of routines to keep your training challenging which is a key to long term success whether your train in a gym or not.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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