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I'm told it's best for a particular muscle group to give it a couple days of rest between workouts and therefore daily push-ups are detrimental to arm muscles. Is that correct?

I'm asking from a health perspective, not mass/strength or anything. Therefore the rest I mention here is to be considered for its repair function, not its strengthening function.

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  • It is no more unhealthy than walking every day. – paparazzo Mar 16 '15 at 20:35
  • It depends on the amount of recovery needed. Look up "greasing the groove". Essentially, it's a program where you do push ups (not to fatigue) multiple times a day every day for weeks. – Tyler Mar 17 '15 at 4:02
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    @Blam Pushups (and only pushups) every day could lead to kyphosis and other muscle imbalances; walking (and only walking) every day is pretty harmless. – Dave Liepmann Mar 17 '15 at 14:01
  • @DaveLiepmann Nothing about my comment implies (and only pushups) – paparazzo Mar 17 '15 at 17:17
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When you work out, you break down muscle fibers. Then, when you rest, the muscle fibers are rebuilt, stronger than before, provided you also eat right.

If you work out the same muscle group every day, you aren't allowing your muscle fibers to be fully rebuilt.

Thus, we have this rule-of-thumb of giving each muscle group at least one day of rest between sessions.

Keep in mind, though, that this is a rule of thumb, and our bodies are all different. If you manage to get enough rest and nutrition every day, then there is theoretically nothing stopping you from doing the same workout every day. But generally, we tend not to recommend this approach. Especially to beginners.

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Doing push-ups every day is fine. Don't overdo them. Do other things too, like squats and lunges and pull-ups and Hindu push-ups and sprints.

The advice you're reading is not geared towards all situations and is not applicable to just doing a few push-ups.

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push-ups dont only work out the arm muscles, but work out the entire upper body, including the abdomen, meaning it can to some extent be related to cardio workout, which is extremely good for you health wise. Anything that get's your heart rate up is good for you health-wise :)

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  • I'm not sure I see the relationship between working the abs and cardio. – rrirower Mar 17 '15 at 12:35
  • Unless you are not very fit, your heart rate won't go up enough for push ups to qualify as cardio exercise. Also, you only do push ups for several minutes, so it won't be much of a cardio exercise even if your heart rate does go up enough. – Count Iblis Mar 17 '15 at 20:27
  • sorry, i do know what you guys mean, but thats not exactly what i meant. i was referring to how we really work out our entire upper body in pushups that makes it healthy (i shouldnt have put the cardio in there, my apologies) – Tashanna Chamma Mar 17 '15 at 22:24

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