I do around 130 push ups a day (at 5 AM) after a small routine with free weights, and I am starting to feel movements in my head. In addition, I sometimes feel a bit dizzy but not like things are moving around me. Recently, my doctor told me that I have high blood pressure.

Is this common, and can it be caused by doing too many pushups?

  • Please describe "feel movements in my head" more exactly.
    – user3085
    Jun 20, 2012 at 2:18
  • Also update the question title too to be more specific.
    – user241
    Jun 20, 2012 at 3:03

2 Answers 2


AFAIK high blood pressure isn't caused by pushups per se.

Exercising can exacerbate high blood pressure, even while helping to lower it long-term.

If you "feel movements in your head" or simple dizziness it's a sign you should stop immediately.

Discuss your exercise plan(s) with your doctor and get professional medical advice, which this forum is not equipped to deliver. It may be nothing–it may not be. Short of being examined and tested, nobody online can tell you anything of value other than be very careful, get a checkup, maybe do an exercise stress test under the supervision of a doctor, etc.

  • 1
    Plus, if working out early in the mornings, you could feel light-headed just because, well, it's morning and you're suddenly pushing yourself a lot.
    – VPeric
    Jun 20, 2012 at 8:27
  • 3
    Actually, I'm on a yoga therapy/teaching course and we were told that for high blood pressure the full plank position (basically, the top of the push-up position) is contraindicated for high blood pressure (not a cause, just not helpful). So there might be a connection there. But also agree w/ VPeric, 5am and no food yet + pushing oneself could be a more direct reason for dizziness.
    – user3495
    Jun 20, 2012 at 20:09
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    @DaveNewton I've asked our instructor to clarify the reasons why (still waiting for that email), but I did find another source that states "Individuals with high blood pressure should always be cautious when performing any isometric exercise, like a push-up." (livestrong.com/article/87910-control-breathing-during-push-ups/…) -- but will post another quick note as soon as I get an explanation for it.
    – user3495
    Jun 21, 2012 at 8:12
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    @DaveNewton no, sure, not if they're done at a good clip (which is probably what Stefan is doing, to be fair, if he gets in 150 in a short time), but they can be if done slowly the way some newcomers to it often do (basically holding at bottom or top for 1 second or more) -- which in yoga is done delibrately and means moving from bottom (chaturanga dandasana) to top (plank). And there are people who do specifically 'isometric pushups' that are deliberately held 2-5 seconds (or more) in each position.
    – user3495
    Jun 21, 2012 at 10:39
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    @DaveNewton it does add to the issue of whether or not this aggravates high blood pressure and could be causing the 'movements in the head' feelings if the isometric contraction, if you will, aggravates the condition, which some articles and my teacher claim. I don't think it's just semantics, nor was I trying to be argumentative. I believed it was relevant to what's being discussed.
    – user3495
    Jun 21, 2012 at 10:45

I would say that "movements in my head" and dizziness are not common responses. Check your breathing. Holding your breath, especially during exertion can spike your blood pressure. Making sure you continue to breathe may help.

@Dave is correct that you should consult with your physician about your exercise program, especially if you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure. Your doctor will give you safe guidelines. When you go to your doctor, be prepared to explain your symptoms in response to your weightlifting and pushups. Ask specific questions regarding your workouts and what blood pressure readings are safe for you.

This Mayo Clinic article gives some parameters for blood pressure readings and weightlifting. For example, they suggest:

If your blood pressure is between 140 to 170 mm Hg systolic or 90 to 109 mm Hg diastolic, check with your doctor before starting a weightlifting program to discuss any precautions or special considerations.

This article gives HBP symptoms that require immediate medical attention. However, HBP is often without any noticable symptoms. It is important that you understand your condition and how to exercise safely for better health. Also ask your doctor about your diet. Good luck.

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