T Nation

Pushup/Situp Questions


I am without any equipment for a few weeks, so I will only be doing situps and pushups to maintain and maybe get a little stronger.

1. Where can I find some good-quality animations of exercises, I know you guys have some here, but you only have a few that are actually animated...

2. With push-ups and sit-ups what would be some good rep scheme ideas? Here's what I was thinking of, maybe someone has a better idea;

Pushups - 5 sets to failure
Situps - 5 sets to failure

3. I was thinking of doing 5 sets of pushups and 5 sets of situps every day. Is this good? Or is it overtraining?

4. I am having trouble keeping my back straight and firm when doing pushups. I can keep it straight for the first few reps, then my lower back starts to sag. How can I strengthen my lower back and get perfect form on my pushups?


Do Tabata pushups and Tabata situps.
The Tabata method is
8 rounds of:
20 seconds of total effort exercise
10 seconds of rest.

That equals 4 minutes of total work. It is suprising how quick it will wear you out and make you strong. Mix it into your max out sets every couple of days.
You can also do Tabata squats with just bodyweight. You can Tabata anything really. Good luck.


It's not your lower back, it's your abs. Keep them tight just like you would in a squat or deadlift to keep sagging at bay.



I second the above post about abs being the weak link in pushups. An excercise called the 'plank' may help. Lay face down, support yourself with your elbows and forearms, hold that back straight, hold it until you shake. Rinse and repeat.


If you have trouble keeping your back straight, then don't worry about doing 5 sets to failure! A pushup with crappy form is not worth doing. Like the pthers said, keep your abs tight. How many solid pushups can you do? I would say do as many as you can with good form, and then stop. Like anything else, you can fuck yourself up if you use improper form.

If after the first few reps you fail, you may want to do them with your hands on a desk or chair, as you are doing less weight when you elevate your upper body. Work your way down to a regular pushup.


If you are looking for animations, try menshealth.com. They used to have animations of the basics.