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Adding Pushups to your Chest Routine

by Suliman EL-Amin

They’re old-fashion, terribly boring and time-consuming. Yes, they’re pushups. You know the exercise we all had to do in gym class to test our physical fitness or coach’s favorite punishment for the player who missed a tackle during practice. Most of us were happy to abandon such training as soon as we graduated from grade school or were strong enough to bench press a modest amount weight in the gym. However we may have been a little too hasty in our decision to remove this exercise from our workouts. For instance, fitness guru Jack Lalanne and NFL Hall Famer Herschel Walker have each attributed their upper body strength to pushups. Likewise, our Armed Forces have long used such callisthenic training to improve the physical fitness of new recruits.

A couple of years ago I begin adding pushups into my chest workouts and I noticed that my chest and shoulders were becoming larger and fuller-looking. In addition, I had gained greater control of my chest while flexing and I could stabilize the barbell better during bench presses. After doing some research, I learned that this was because pushups have the ability to work the entire pectorals (chest muscles) and part of the deltoids (shoulders). The movement also mimics bench pressing therefore it strengthens the muscles needed to stabilize the barbell like the triceps. For these reasons, pushups have become a staple in my chest routine. I use them both as a pre-exhaust exercise and as a way to quickly achieve a fuller look (i.e. pump) after my chest workouts.

When I am doing pushups as a pre-exhaust exercise, I will complete two sets of thirty to fifty reps and then go straight into incline bench pressing. When using them as a pump exercise, I will do two to three sets with each set going to failure after my regular chest workout. I usually rest for one minute between each set and try to maintain a moderate speed and full range of motion during the movement.

An ideal starting position for pushups is palms on the ground spread a shoulder width a part with both legs straight and feet close together. The body is parallel to the ground with the face looking forward and toes tucked under the feet. The entire body remains rigid and the weight of the body is supported by the arms and feet throughout the exercise. In the first part of the movement, the arms straighten as they “push” the body “up” off the ground. In the second part of the movement, the arms bend to return the body to its starting position. At no time in the exercise will the chest or legs touch the floor.

For best results, keep pushups with your chest routine which should be done once per week. This will give your muscles adequate time to recover and grow in between workouts. Beginners should start with two sets of twenty pushups, while intermediate to advance levels should do at least thirty reps per set. I guarantee that by adding this exercise to your training regime your chest will become larger and thicker in a matter of weeks!


About the Author

Suliman is an exercise enthusiast who has been training for over ten years. Currently he trains four days a week at the YMCA and West Philadelphia, PA. He also holds a Bachelors degree in Biology and is pursuing a Masters degree in the same subject.


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2013-08-06 
 If the pain comes after eating, I'd say it's more lileky a gallbladder issue and not a liver issue. This is definitely something to speak to your PCP about or a gastroenterologist if you have one already.A HIDA scan w/ CCK was the ONLY test that showed the disease and they ran several on me (including a gallbladder ultrasound w/ cck)Good luck!*****************Gallstones SymptomsThe most common symptom of gallstones is pain in the stomach area or in the upper right part of the belly, under the ribs.The pain may: * Develop suddenly in the center of the upper belly (epigastric area) and spread to the right upper back or shoulder blade area. It is usually hard to get comfortable; moving around does not make the pain go away. * Prevent you from taking normal or deep breaths. * Last 15 minutes to 24 hours. Continuous pain for 1 to 5 hours is common. * Begin at night and be severe enough to wake you. * Occur after meals.Gallstone pain can cause vomiting, which may relieve some of the belly (abdominal) pain and pressure. Pain that occurs with a fever, nausea, and vomiting or loss of appetite may be a sign of inflammation or infection of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis). Symptoms that may mean that a gallstone is blocking the common bile duct include: * Yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eyes (jaundice). * Dark urine. * Light-colored stools. * A fever and chills.There are many other conditions that cause similar symptoms, including heartburn, pain caused by a heart attack, and liver problems. Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and food poisoning also can cause symptoms similar to gallstones. Diarrhea and vomiting occur with the flu and food poisoning, but the pain tends to come and go rather than be constant. Also, pain with these conditions may be felt all over the belly, rather than in one spot.Belly pain that comes and goes (rather than being constant) and that occurs with nausea and vomiting and possibly a mild fever is more lileky to be caused by stomach flu or food poisoning than by gallstones. This is especially true if others around you are sick with similar symptoms.

 


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