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  1. #1
    Doing the Repeater. HardKnockNES's Avatar
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    Push ups - Percentage of Bodyweight lifted..

    What percentage of your bodyweight are you actually pushing when doing a traditional feet on the floor, hands shoulder width apart push up?

    I always figured it to be around 30-35 percent.
    I can't seem to find any sources on this though.

    If any of you can find some sources, I would greatly appreciate it.


    I have someone telling me it's 70 percent and there is just no way it is that high.
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  2. #2
    Banned jules_d1's Avatar
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    well it all depends on yoru body composition.

    Ifyou are top heavy you will lifting more of your body weight when compared to if a lto fo your weight is in your legs.
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  3. #3
    Doing the Repeater. HardKnockNES's Avatar
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    Yeah I realize it varies, but 70 percent doesn't seem right at all.
    I would be very surprised if it was more than half your bodyweight.
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  4. #4
    Shittygeneticsomorph BBing_Addict's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HardKnockNES View Post
    Yeah I realize it varies, but 70 percent doesn't seem right at all.
    I would be very surprised if it was more than half your bodyweight.
    70% sounds about right, i just got on my scales in narrow hands push position and it weighed me at 67% when my arms were fully extended and 74% when in the bottom position. But Im not sure this is the right to measure it lol.
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    Registered User SFreppinitbig's Avatar
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    Can't be, I can barely bench 70% of my weight but can do 35-40 pushups, all beit less ROM but still..
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  6. #6
    Doing the Repeater. HardKnockNES's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking.

    Because I can do about 50-60 strict push ups and there is no way in hell I can push 70 percent of my bodyweight that many times on a bench press.
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  7. #7
    Minister for Propoganda gomez26's Avatar
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    its around a half at the bottom, & drops a bit at the top.
    simple leverage & angle dependent
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  8. #8
    deracate chinese frower Mindi912's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gomez26 View Post
    its around a half at the bottom, & drops a bit at the top.
    simple leverage & angle dependent
    if that's the case, I'm so weak
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  9. #9
    1st Dan Chito-Ryu tonester's Avatar
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    Scales maybe?

    I weigh 180. On the weight scale the range comes out to be between 120-130 lbs. depending on how far forward or backward I lean. So roughly 70%.
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  10. #10
    Why u do dis? wala's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BBing_Addict View Post
    70% sounds about right, i just got on my scales in narrow hands push position and it weighed me at 67% when my arms were fully extended and 74% when in the bottom position. But Im not sure this is the right to measure it lol.
    We have a winner!!!!

    I can't believe no one else said this? lol

    A correctly set up weighing scale does not lie - if you position yourself in the traditional pushup position, while putting both hands on the scale - its gonna tell you what weight its holding.. then do your math

    Like the second poster said, it depends if your top heavy/evenly spread out/bottom heavy - so there is no 'ONE' % that can be used... but there's probably a general one..
    Last edited by wala; 10-28-2007 at 01:52 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Sounds like a stupid question, but how much does the weight of your arms factor into things?
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  12. #12
    GROPEGRABOSHITWTFBBQ! Hard Drive's Avatar
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    Depending on body composition, you push about 40% to 65% of your bodyweight.

    The reason it's easier is because you have more muscles involved. For one, you're doing it palms flat, you're also involving your quads, abs, hip flexors, calves, shins, basicly the entire anterior chain.

    Also, most of you have been donig pushups far longer than you've been bench pressing. Despite what you may think, they are NOT the same thing, not the same movement, and not the same difficulty even if the same amount of weight is lifted.

    Try this, get in pushup position, have a spotter put a 100 pound dumbell on your back sideways, right above your glutes, and then start repping out pushups. Most of you will get at least 15, if not 30. The ones of you that max in the 150's, you'll get 10 still, even though you'll technically be pushing anywhere from 150-200 each rep.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by HardKnockNES View Post
    That's what I was thinking.

    Because I can do about 50-60 strict push ups and there is no way in hell I can push 70 percent of my bodyweight that many times on a bench press.
    But isnt a pushup really half a bench press? When I do pushups, I push up and then just let gravity pull me down. When I bench, i have to have more control to keep from getting killed eh?
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  14. #14
    Moderator Dominik's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BBing_Addict View Post
    70% sounds about right, i just got on my scales in narrow hands push position and it weighed me at 67% when my arms were fully extended and 74% when in the bottom position. But Im not sure this is the right to measure it lol.
    I've always gone off the 2/3 of bodyweight approximation which is close to 70%, and after doing the same test you did with digital scales I got the same result: around 70% for full extension and around 75% with my forearms resting on the scales.

    The reason bench feels harder than pushups with similar weight is because:

    a) you're having to balance an object (the barbell)
    b) the resistance decreases as you extend your arms whereas on bench the weight is constant, and
    c) most people aren't going as deep on pushups as they do on bench (lowering bar to chest)
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  15. #15
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    Depends how you do it.
    If you have your tiptoes 2 the floor I would guess it is more than 50% of bodyweight. I am over 90kilo and I would say is definately more than 45 kilos...
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    50% according to Pavel (Dragondoor) and 65% according to Matt Furey (no flame needed).
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    Originally Posted by wala View Post
    We have a winner!!!!

    I can't believe no one else said this? lol

    A correctly set up weighing scale does not lie - if you position yourself in the traditional pushup position, while putting both hands on the scale - its gonna tell you what weight its holding.. then do your math

    Like the second poster said, it depends if your top heavy/evenly spread out/bottom heavy - so there is no 'ONE' % that can be used... but there's probably a general one..
    Wow, people are STILL GUESSING about this ****? read my post if you didn't already, its 100% accurate...!!!
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  18. #18
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    50-65% sounds right but its an interesting question for all the biomechanists out there probably already been done.
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  19. #19
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    Get in a push-up position with close grip onto a scale. That's about how much you use when doing a push-up (lower yourself and weight will go up). For me it's around 75%.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by Duckenheimer View Post
    Sounds like a stupid question, but how much does the weight of your arms factor into things?
    Actually, IMO that's a great question since the arms aren't part of what's being lifted but rather what's doing the work, so they'd probably need to be subtracted from the scale weight.
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    Originally Posted by Rushtallica View Post
    Actually, IMO that's a great question since the arms aren't part of what's being lifted but rather what's doing the work, so they'd probably need to be subtracted from the scale weight.
    It's still weight being stabilized. You're pushing your bodyweight from the ground, not like pushing a bar from your chest. Quit overthinking it and get in push-up position on a scale, it will be similar to what it really is during a push-up. The lower you are the more it weights.
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    Originally Posted by Rushtallica View Post
    Actually, IMO that's a great question since the arms aren't part of what's being lifted but rather what's doing the work, so they'd probably need to be subtracted from the scale weight.
    good point, the weight percentage of whole arm is about 5.77% of your bodyweight, upper arm 3.25%, and 2.52% for forearm and hand (info from Kreighbaum & Barthels 1996 "Biomechanics: A qualitative approach for studying human movement")

    So the weight lifted during a push still stands around 65-70% given the ranges that people have posted here.



    btw, obviously the percentages will vary from person to person depending on your body proportions and composition, as well as gender, but this percentages are just general guideline that biomechanists(is this the word for them?... for shame, i should know this) have gathered from cutting up dead people... fun stuff
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    hmm. i wonder what it is when you feet are 2 feet off the ground.
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    yeah it is an interesting question for myself i think its more like 70% but as people have said it depends how your weight is distributed over your body im top heavy. also the reason its diffrent to a bench is all the different muscles you use. with bench you push the weight right angles constant with push-ups the muscles you use change during each rep because you pivot from your legs and the angle doesn't stay the same its more of a right angle when you near the ground then when you push up the angle changes and puts abit more strain on your chest. thats my opinion anyway.
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    Originally Posted by _Dominik_ View Post
    I've always gone off the 2/3 of bodyweight approximation which is close to 70%, and after doing the same test you did with digital scales I got the same result: around 70% for full extension and around 75% with my forearms resting on the scales.

    The reason bench feels harder than pushups with similar weight is because:

    a) you're having to balance an object (the barbell)
    b) the resistance decreases as you extend your arms whereas on bench the weight is constant, and
    c) most people aren't going as deep on pushups as they do on bench (lowering bar to chest)
    That's it.

    There's one thing I noticed though...you rarely see someone screw up form wise with a pushup. They may not do a full ROM, but they'll at least have proper form. Flat Bench Press, you'll see more form errors which probably makes it feel more difficult to some.
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    Originally Posted by Kalt View Post
    Depending on body composition, you push about 40% to 65% of your bodyweight.

    The reason it's easier is because you have more muscles involved. For one, you're doing it palms flat, you're also involving your quads, abs, hip flexors, calves, shins, basicly the entire anterior chain.

    Also, most of you have been donig pushups far longer than you've been bench pressing. Despite what you may think, they are NOT the same thing, not the same movement, and not the same difficulty even if the same amount of weight is lifted.

    Try this, get in pushup position, have a spotter put a 100 pound dumbell on your back sideways, right above your glutes, and then start repping out pushups. Most of you will get at least 15, if not 30. The ones of you that max in the 150's, you'll get 10 still, even though you'll technically be pushing anywhere from 150-200 each rep.
    I agree with this except that it's 65-70% for me.

    A pushup of the same weight benched feels easier because more of your body is moving the weight. The bench press isolates the upper body much better especially the arms which also have to stabilise the DB or barbell.

    When you add weight to your pushups only a percentage goes towards your arms as the load usually sits on your mid to lower back. So lots of other muscle groups are doing more work unlike in the bench press where you're just lying flat on your back. That doesn't mean you can't target your chest well enough with pushups.

    A similar thing happens with handstand pushups. Your whole body is doing much of the work especially in freestand. Overhead barbell and DB shoulder presses are better for isolating the arms.
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    i always read 60%
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    Bas rules, though he likely does pushups, as well.
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    Arrow

    Originally Posted by wala View Post
    We have a winner!!!!

    I can't believe no one else said this? lol

    A correctly set up weighing scale does not lie - if you position yourself in the traditional pushup position, while putting both hands on the scale - its gonna tell you what weight its holding.. then do your math

    Like the second poster said, it depends if your top heavy/evenly spread out/bottom heavy - so there is no 'ONE' % that can be used... but there's probably a general one..
    That sounds right.

    But then again, there is no way to get in a traditional push up position with both hands on the scale. Close hands or diamond push ups are not traditional push ups. It would be better measured by having one hand on the scale and one hand off at shoulder width apart and then multiplying by 2. I also have substantial fluctuations at the top of motion and bottom of the motion. Top of motion is roughly 50 lbs on the digital readout and 73 lbs at the bottom. Which is a difference of 50% and 70% of my bodyweight.
    Last edited by HardKnockNES; 10-28-2007 at 05:43 PM.
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