How to Do Push Ups for Desk Jockeys

This post could also be named “How To Do a Push Up Without a 7-Day Headache!” 🙂

I’ve rarely seen it discussed anywhere, but I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this problem. I’m talking about how difficult it is to increase your upper body strength – in my case by training for military push ups – without igniting a week-long headache in the process.

I have had the same problem for ages and it has prevented me from effectively increasing my upper body strength. It was a big problem when I was still doing ashtanga yoga – I couldn’t stay long in downward dog (flexibility was no problem), not to speak of chaturangas – without my upper back neck and neck muscles knotting up in agony.

I suppose this is mainly a problem for desk jockeys who typically have tight pectorals and weak upper back muscles (and no core control).

In my case, every time I do push ups, the muscles in my upper neck tighten painfully and in the worst case, cause headaches or migraines. I perused my anatomy books yesterday and came to the conclusion that the culprit is probably the upper trapezius muscle that attaches to the skull – though why it gets overworked when I try to do push ups is a beyond me. [Read more…]

My Push Up Challenge: 10 Military Push Ups By 31st May, 2012

I think it’s a good time to write about my new fitness challenge in detail. As you may recall, a month ago I announced my new fitness goal: being able to do 10 consecutive military style push ups (i.e. male push ups) by 31st May, 2012.

push up challenge

This is what I aim for - I'm going to leave out the neck crane though.

Why push ups, why not running or walking a half-marathon or something?

I really don’t know, but for me, being able to do 10 military push ups is an epitome of cool. It would make me an absolute badass!!  It  would also be a breakthrough goal, because it would mean a tremendous increase in both core and  upper body strength. It would probably also have a positive effect on my hanging underarms, because push ups are supposed to be good for your triceps…

And besides, how many female, middle aged, 43-44 year-old office workers you know who can do even one real push up? [Read more…]