Introducing Negative Pushup in the muscle strengthening routine can be an effective way to increase the variety and intensity. Negative pushups are often flouted when it comes to building muscles and strength. Professional athletes, bodybuilders and other fitness fanatics, all make use of negatives to gain that extra edge – which separates them from the herd.
The negative pushup is another multi-faceted approach to build strong muscles. It is highly effective if you’re plateauing and the normal routine gives a sense of mundane-ness. Also, when at times when it becomes difficult to perform regular push-ups, maybe for the reason that you’re not able to carry your own weight, try the negative version. It might become the key to your strength and great muscles. It has more benefits than the regular old-fashioned push-ups.
Slow Negative Pushup
In regular or standard push-ups, your muscles perform what is called as the concentric contraction. It means that your muscles contract as they get shorter. However, in a slow negative push-up, your muscles perform what is known as eccentric contraction. It means that the muscles are trying to get contracted as they are increasing in length. This creates more tension among the muscles, thus making them more hard and strong.
The eccentric contraction, which is also known as the negative fitness routine, can leave you sore for the entire day. Though you are doing the same workout, in a reverse position, it becomes extremely difficult for the muscles to perform it. Your muscles can get sore, but how will the muscles grow stronger if they don’t get damaged (sore). Muscles need to get damaged to heel and become stronger than before.
Know the Positive Technique to Perform the Slow Negative Pushup
Negatives make use of the eccentric contraction which helps in growing the muscular strength rapidly, as compared to their positive counterparts. Though remember, negatives can be wild, and they might leave you sore and in pain.
Below are the steps to perform the slow negative pushup
1. You start in the same plank position like in regular push-ups or any other variations of it. Make use of the mat and place your hands beneath the shoulders.
2. From the up position, start to lower your body slowly on the mat. Take 3 – 4 seconds as you go down from the top position.
3. Start squeezing the shoulder blades, while lifting the palms away from the floor.
4. Press your hands into the mat and get your elbow straighten, as you push yourself back into the plank position.
5. This will complete the one rep, and you can move ahead for repetitions.
Breathing is a must. The more you breathe in and out, the more energy you have and more the number of repetition you can perform. Always keep yourself energized for better results. So breathe out as you lower yourself, and breathe in will getting back in the plank position. Do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable. Once you start to lose the grip and momentum, take a break.
Benefits Of Slow Negative Pushup
It hurts – Though in a good way.
If you’re doing slow negative push-ups, the muscles in your body are going to get stiff and sore for the next few days. It happens for quite some time initially, when you have just started performing eccentric contractions. It is because the negative pushup exercise causes microscopic damage and induces extra muscle regeneration than compared to its other counterpart.
The stiffness in the muscle will be gone in a few days, as your body gets more adaptable to it. Though this doesn’t mean that it is no longer beneficial. You will still be able to reap out the benefits of eccentric contractions, provided you ensure the right use of techniques. Give it your best and embrace the pain initially. Because in a few weeks’ time, you will have stronger arms and chest.
Should you do the negative pushup?
The slow negative pushup is a good way to build up strength in the core. If you’re unable to perform the regular push-ups because you’re not able to carry your weight and push yourself up, then it is a green go-ahead for slow negative push-ups.
Regardless of your experience level, slow negative push-ups can be performed by anyone. Beginners, intermediate or advanced level athlete. You can certainly give it a try. It helps you build a lot of muscular strength, which then can be used to perform other variations of regular push-ups. It is a challenging exercise, but it will reap you a lot of benefits.
Also, it is important not to perform more than 8 reps per set. Try to keep it to the lower end to be more beneficial. Don’t perform the slow negative push-ups with every workout. You can do it 2-3 days in a week, with 2-3 sets of 8 reps each. Remember, slow negative push-ups are done to add variation to your monotonous workout routine.
Dos and Don’ts with Negative Pushup
1. One common mistake that people often make, is that they do not breathe properly while working out. Breathing keeps you active and maintains your energy levels. So always take care of breathing.
2. Do take time as you move down towards the mat. Keep counting from 5 to 1 and make sure you touch the mat with your belly on the count of 1. This will have more impact on your upper body muscles.
3. Don’t push yourself harder. If you are not able to control your body as you move down, and if it is falling rather quickly, take a break. It’s okay not to do it, then doing it wrong.
4. Don’t perform the slow negative pushup each day of the week. Use it as a variation to avoid getting the fitness routine monotonous.
5. Don’t get worried, if you feel soreness and stiffness in the body after doing the slow negative push-ups. It happens with everyone if you’re doing it for the very first time. It will hurt for a few days, but remember, high benefits are awaited for people who do it right.
Challenge Yourself – If it is already not too challenging
If your body has adapted to the challenges that slow negative push-ups include, and if you desire to make it more challenging than it already is – you can increase the load on the back or go even slower. You can put on a weight belt around your waist and perform the slow negative push-up. The weight will make you go down quickly, which you need to resist by going down slowly.
If you’re not comfortable using the weight, you can try moving slowly. Instead of counting from 5 – 1, you can increase the count from 7 – 1. This will make you increase the resistance power in your body and will put extra load on the muscles.
Concentric or Eccentric – Which is better?
Research has shown that eccentric contraction exercise puts more load on the muscles. Thus it makes it more effective in increasing the muscle strength and core. Eccentric training helps you increase the overall strength than just the eccentric contractions. Eccentric training gives a little extra boost to the muscular strength in comparison to the concentric training.
Research also suggests that the combination of eccentric and concentric training methods, increase the bone mineral density among women. So not only your muscles get stronger, even the strength in your bones increases – with the continuous positive and negative stress on the muscles.
When to do the negative pushup?
Experts suggest performing the eccentric exercise like the slow negative pushup at the start of your workout routine. Some people also suggest performing the slow negative push-ups after completion of regular sets. Doing negative push-ups after a tiring concentric training will help you burn all the fats in your muscles and give you a lot better result. And if you want, you can even mix it with other concentric training exercises. There is surely no harm in it.
Slow negative push-ups is a great variation to be added to your fitness routine. It will help you to burn the fat more quickly and enhance your physical abilities – giving you stronger muscles and deeper abs.
Though they can be painful and leave you with stiffness initially, but remember, there is no gain without a little pain. So embrace it, and keep building towards it. Perform the slow negative push-ups slowly to get the most out of it. Pace yourself.
Do not perform the slow negative push-ups every day of the week. Gradually increase the number of repetitions – as and when you feel comfortable doing it. Integrate the negative workout into your routine, rather than replacing it with the regular fitness workout. Slow negative push-ups are used to add intensity and create a good blend of the workout.