1

votes

Why am I losing my ability to do push-ups?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 07, 2013 at 8:44 PM

I have been working out religiously for a year. When I started, I could do one push-up, maybe two. At some point I tried to see how many I could do and I managed 10, pretty quickly and with good form (this was probably about 6 months ago). I lift weights in a cardio/weights class and occasionally do push-ups in the class.

I wasn't able to go to the gym today, so I decided to do some push-ups. I could only do 4 before I had to take a short break. I was only able to do 10 total while maintaining my form.

Is it possible that I am getting worse at them because I haven't been doing them often enough or should the fact that I've been weight lifting mean that I should be able to do them anyway? Is it practice or strength? I had very low testosterone in the past (I'm female, but it was lower than it should have been), so I was supplementing at the beginning of last year when I started working out. I stopped the T in July in order to start trying for another baby (it's recommended to stop 2 months prior to conception). I do worry that my levels might be low again.

I'm hoping that my lack of practice is what is making me less proficient at push-ups and not a marker of a bigger problem. Any insight?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 08, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Thank you! I'm going to start practicing...I'd really like to see if I get any better.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 08, 2013
at 02:48 AM

Not really. I weigh less than I did when I was doing more pushups several months ago, but I think I'm stronger know.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:44 PM

It's decent most of the time. My daughter was sick today, so we couldn't go to the gym. It's possible I'm fighting something off too, I am feeling a little run down today. I'll try again in a couple of days and see how many I can do. If I'm still not able to do many, I'm going to start practicing them. I've been meaning to work on my tricep pushups too, they are terrible.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:12 PM

Thank you! I made an appt with my Dr, but it's not until late March. Hoping I can figure something out before then. My triceps are weak, at least I think they are. I am terrible at tricep pushups, so bad that I wonder if I'm doing them all wrong. I hope to god my BF hasn't gone up, I don't think it has.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:00 PM

I value your opinion on the topic, answer accepted. Thanks!

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8 Answers

best answer

8
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on February 07, 2013
at 08:56 PM

The only way to get better at push-ups is to do push-up (this goes for any activity). I can do many fewer push-ups than I used to be able to do, but I can do much more over just about everything else. If you want to be good a push-ups, practice push-ups; if you want to be good at life, practice everything.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:00 PM

I value your opinion on the topic, answer accepted. Thanks!

1
62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

on February 08, 2013
at 01:51 AM

I can bench 150% of my bodyweight, and my son can only do about 100%, but I can barely do more pushups than him because... he does pushups in gym class. I guarantee if you commit to doing pushups, you'll be back up to 10 in no time. I'll also wager you can do it faster than you achieved 10 last time, despite lack of T supplements.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 08, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Thank you! I'm going to start practicing...I'd really like to see if I get any better.

1
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on February 07, 2013
at 11:11 PM

There's always a drop in reps after you haven't done them for a while, it's not lack of strength necessarily but that the exact muscle groups engaged have somewhat forgotten the most efficient way. If you keep it up, pushups is one of the most stisfying excercises in that you can really add fairly quickly and dramatically.

1
B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Maybe you aren't eating enough or your muscles are still recovering while you attempt to do push ups. When I was on a low carb diet I was losing my ability to do push ups very quickly going from being able to do 60 in a row down to less than 20 in about 4 months, even though I became a lower weight (therefore it should be easier to lift myself) and eating mostly protein. How is your energy level overall?

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:44 PM

It's decent most of the time. My daughter was sick today, so we couldn't go to the gym. It's possible I'm fighting something off too, I am feeling a little run down today. I'll try again in a couple of days and see how many I can do. If I'm still not able to do many, I'm going to start practicing them. I've been meaning to work on my tricep pushups too, they are terrible.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on February 07, 2013
at 09:02 PM

Hmmm...well there are really only a few potential causes for this that I can think, though there may be a number of mechanisms. The first cause is that your push-up specific muscles have atrophied. There are many, but a few possibilities for this are (a) although you're lifting weights, you are creating a lower training stimulus than that which you received from simply practicing push ups or (b) your testosterone has sufficiently decreased to have a noticeable affect on muscle protein synthesis (anabolism...muscle building). For (a) start training push ups again and/or change your workout routine and still include push ups within your workout. For (b) see a doctor and correct this somehow.

The second possibility is that you've gotten stronger, but have a muscular imbalance revolving around your delts, chest, and triceps, that is preventing you from properly executing push ups with ease. if this is your case, change your workout routine and include push up progressions.

The third possibility is that your body composition has declined and has resulted in a lower muscle/fat ratio (your body fat% has increased). Simple answer is to change your diet.

Of course, it could be a combination of these things as well. Just brainstorming really but I think these are likely causes.

Hope that helps.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:12 PM

Thank you! I made an appt with my Dr, but it's not until late March. Hoping I can figure something out before then. My triceps are weak, at least I think they are. I am terrible at tricep pushups, so bad that I wonder if I'm doing them all wrong. I hope to god my BF hasn't gone up, I don't think it has.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 01:01 AM

Have you lost weight? When I lost a lot of weight my waistline and thighs slimmed down from fat loss. My shoulders and chest also slimmed down, and not all of that was fat. It was easier for me to do push-ups with beefy shoulders than it is now with bony shoulders.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 08, 2013
at 02:48 AM

Not really. I weigh less than I did when I was doing more pushups several months ago, but I think I'm stronger know.

0
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:01 PM

You might be over training. Take two weeks off then see how many you can do.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on February 07, 2013
at 09:00 PM

Dehydration can reduce strength.

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