There’s no doubt that regular exercise is the key to both losing weight and gaining muscle, but doing the same thing day after day can be counterproductive. Can you do pushups everyday? Sure, there’s nothing stopping you. If you pay careful attention not to overwork yourself, I don’t see why you can’t. That said, just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
I would recommend any kind of physical activity over no activity at all. If it came down to doing nothing everyday or pushups everyday, I would say do pushups. However, if you’re trying to build muscle, tone up, or even lose fat, I would recommend not doing pushups everyday.
When it comes to fitness, variation is key. You will see far better results by changing up your routine and performing many different exercises than by doing the same thing over and over again. Not only will doing the same thing every day risk injury (by overworking the muscle), you’ll actually very quickly stop seeing positive results. You see, in order to grow muscle you need to constantly stimulate and stress your muscles. If you do the same thing repeatedly, your muscles will become accustom to this movement before you know it, and they will no longer be sufficiently stimulated to change shape.
Doing pushups everyday also gets in the way of one of the most important concepts in muscle building, that is to provide your body with time for recovery after exercise. Muscle growth actually occurs outside of the gym, when you’re not working out. You stimulate and break down your muscle during a workout, but the real magic happens afterwards. Your body repairs the damage done to the muscle from your workout by making your muscle bigger and better able to perform the exercises that were just done. It can only do this during a period of rest. If you constantly workout, you’re robbing your muscles of this very necessary process.
Another common problem with doing the same exercise every day is something called muscle imbalance. Pushups mainly work your chest and the front of your shoulders. If you only did these for a month or two, you’d see the your shoulders start to look hunched and you would just start to look ‘wrong’, for lack or a better word. Your back muscles would be extremely underdeveloped due to lack of attention, along with the rest of your body.
A Better Option
Pushups are a fantastic exercise – one that can be extremely beneficial to muscle growth. However, they are just one exercise. A much more effective way to do pushups would be to use them as part of a full weight training regime, and to only do them once a week. This way, you won’t overtrain those muscles, you’ll provide your body with time for muscle growth and recovery, and won’t create potentially troublesome muscle imbalances.
For a great weight training routine, check out this program by Rusty Moore.