We do not always have access to the gym, or to weights, which is why doing bodyweight exercises can be so useful.
The most common bodyweight exercises include bodyweight squats, push ups, and pull ups.
Each of these types of exercises can be broken down even further, and we are going to focus in on the push ups.
Push ups are known, mainly, to increase your chest strength, but which muscles are being targeted when you do push ups, and what effect they have can depend on different factors like your hand positioning and how fast you are doing them.
Let’s talk about why slow push-ups benefit our fitness.
The Science Behind Slow Push Ups
When you do slow push ups, you will be able to perform fewer repetitions than if you were doing a normal speed or fast push ups. Which makes sense.
However, slow push ups can often help with muscle gain and growth because you are increasing what is known as TUT or time under tension.
Time under tension simply refers to the amount of time that your muscles are under tension when performing an exercise, and in almost all cases your time under tension will be greater when you slow down your exercises.
An increased time under tension will lead to more effective muscle growth because your muscles are constantly working against resistance to help you move and stabilize your body all at the same time.
This tells you that even though you will have the ability to perform less reps when performing slow push-ups, you will be getting more out of each rep. It is the fitness version of getting more bang for your buck. Doing your push-ups slowly will help you build up strength and correct technique and form making it a create push-up for beginners.
Will Fast Push Ups Benefit You More?
For comparison, it would make sense to understand what is going on when you are doing fast push ups just as well.
Assuming that you are using the same form, fast push ups, and slow push ups will target the same muscles in your body, they will just have different effects on those muscles.
When you do fast push ups, you are able to do far more repetitions, and your muscles are activated in a different way than when you are doing slow push ups.
Fast push ups can push you more in terms of endurance and explosive movement.
Fast Push Ups vs. Slow Push Ups
So are slow push ups better than fast push ups? No.
Fast push ups are not better than slow push ups either. Both exercises bring their own value to the table, and each exercise is a better choice for different goals.
Slow push ups have the benefit of increasing the time that your muscles are under tension, which leads to increased muscle growth because those muscles are constantly being worked to push and stabilize your body.
Fast push ups are better for perhaps endurance and explosive movement, which is something that you will want if you are focused on being in peak physical condition all around.
At the end of the day, variety is always a factor to consider in your workout routine, and it is also extremely important to keep your goals in mind when deciding which exercises to do.
For the most part, your fitness goals are going to be oriented around your ability to perform physically. If you are an athlete you might have different goals depending on what your sport is, or even more specifically what your position is on the field.
However in almost all cases, being able to perform any exercise in both a fast and slow manner is a sign that you are in good shape physically, and that you will be able to perform at a high level.
If you find that you are really explosive and have high endurance, then you will do better with fast exercises than with slow exercises. The reverse can also be true.
If nothing else, slowing down or speeding up your exercises that you do can help you uncover where the gaps are in your fitness and that can help you restructure your goals to ensure that you are on the most efficient path to success.