Push Up Prowess,Take the Push Up Challenge

This is a test that the military uses to determine your strength level. It’s surprising how long 3 minutes seems when you are trying to do your best. It’s an eye opener! Give it a shot!

Recruits performing pushups as part of physica...

Recruits performing pushups as part of physical training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Test

Do as many pushups as you can in 3 minutes.

Rules

1. Rest whenever you want, but keep the clock running the whole time.

2. For a rep to count, you must maintain perfect form: elbows locked at the top, chest 2 inches above the floor at the bottom, hips not sagging, and knees not touching the floor.

3. Pace yourself however you’d like, but it’s best not to rush. Take a 15-second break once you slow down after your first burst. Then take longer breaks as you become more tired, he says. Never push yourself to total fatigue.

How you did:

< 55 pushups
Below average

55 to 74 pushups
Average

75 to 99 pushups
Good

100 to 110 pushups

Excellent

111 or more
Extraordinary

Problems To Look For:

If you can’t do 15 pushups with perfect form . . . Your chest and triceps are weak. Strengthen them by doing regular high-rep (12 to 15) sets of the bench press and triceps pushdown. Also try pushups in a power rack on a barbell so you can set your body at an incline, making the pushup easier. As you improve, lower the barbell until you’re doing regular pushups.

If your hips sag during pushups . . . Your core is weak. Solution: planks and side planks. These exercises build stability and endurance in your core and mimic the movement needed to succeed at pushups. They’re also great ab workouts.

How to Boost Your Score

Add pushups to your routine twice a week for the next 4 weeks. Follow this pushup protocol, trying to complete each rep as quickly as possible. Then take 5 days off from pushups, and retest yourself.

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