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  1. #1
    Registered User RooskiWolf's Avatar
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    Month and a Half of Push-Ups Leads to Injury?

    I'm 6'2, 205lbs, and 38. Around July 15th of this year I was motivated to get back into shape. I was never a frequent guest of gyms in my youth. I would go with friends a few times a year and that was it. Nothing even remotely serious. I started small. I got in the front leaning rest position and tried to push out 20. I got to 15. Took a 30min walk with the dog in the woods. Sprinted up every incline. Had my heart rate 160-175 for some of those sprints. 15 push-ups one day turned into 20 the next. Then for a few days I tried 2 sets of 20 reps through out the day. Fast forward to August 26th and now 6 days a week I pumped out minimum 200 push-ups before noon. And a few days I was able to get to 300 before dinner. Then on August 29th, I felt a pain in my left shoulder and chest. A few hours later, it felt like a knife was in the front of my shoulder and coming out the back, but no pain in the middle. And if I coughed or sneezed, I would get a sharp pain between my shoulder and chest. A lasting pain all day. At his point I take Whey Protein, Creatine, Multi-Vitamins, and fish oil everyday. Creatine in the morning, and the rest twice a day. After Friday of last week, I stopped taking the Creatine so I could take some Ibuprofen. It's Monday morning, I still have the pain. Not as bad as it was, but still there. I have done no exercises since Friday morning. Anyone have a guess what I messed up and how long should I wait before I start back up again? Thanks!
    Last edited by RooskiWolf; 09-02-2019 at 06:49 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User beowulf359's Avatar
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    No one here can diagnose what the issue is or how long to recover. You should really check with a doctor on that.

    Have you had someone instruct you on proper form for push-ups or have done your own research online? While it may seem quite basic you would be surprised how many people butcher it. Doing high volumes with poor form will eventually lead to injuries.

    Also, are push-ups the only exercise you are doing outside of cardio? Depending on what your overall goal is (getting stronger, losing weight, gaining muscle, etc...); I would really recommend following a program that hits all your muscles groups so you don’t develop imbalances over time.
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  3. #3
    Registered User ProgrammerHunch's Avatar
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    Doing nothing but push-ups is a recipe for disaster. Very likely this has lead to huge muscle imbalances between the front of your torso and the back.
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  4. #4
    Registered User goodworkouts's Avatar
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    Could you give some more detail on your shoulder pain? There are different kinds of shoulder pain such as biceps tendonitis, posterior shoulder impingement, General shoulder impingement, and More. If you search for shoulder pain on YouTube and research as much as you can it will give you a lot of information.

    I could see how doing that much push-ups would lead to an injury. There are a couple reasons.

    Muscle imbalance

    The first reason is an imbalance between your pressing muscles and your pulling muscles. By doing only push-ups, you created a lot of tightness in the chest and front deltoids area. However, you didn't do any back exercises to strengthen the rhomboids, rear deltoids or lats.

    You can correct that
    by stopping the push-ups and doing a combination of massaging and stretching your chest and front deltoids. Look up on YouTube how to massage your chest with a lacrosse ball and how to stretch your chest.

    General overtraining

    First of all I want to say that your intentions were very good and you did a great job increasing your strength so fast. So, even though this injury is a setback, realize that you are moving in a good direction as a whole.

    In fact, you did so well that you might have over train these muscles. So, just start giving the muscles some rest. The same strategy of massaging and stretching your chest and front deltoids will help speed up the recovery.

    Recovery time frame


    Taking 2 weeks off of push-ups and just do other kinds of exercise. Then try some push-ups again and see if you get pain. Hopefully you will get well soon but everyone is different. So just listen to your body And eventually it will tell you that it's better. Sometimes it will be sooner than you expect.

    Building a strength training program that won't injure you

    This is kind of a detailed subject but if you do your research you will be able to find a strength training program that is balanced and will not cause injuries. It's important to train each muscle group evenly, especially muscle groups that do opposing actions. For example, you would want to do a balanced amount of pull-ups and overhead presses, or a balanced amount of push-ups and rows.

    Overall I want to say that injuries can be a good thing. If you get an injury, and learn why, you end up learning more about your body in the long term. injury prevention is the best but sometimes we don't know something until we need to. So if you learn as much as you can from this injury then it will help you prevent injuries down the road. Get one injury and learn how to prevent the next 5.
    Last edited by goodworkouts; 09-05-2019 at 07:59 AM.
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