Pushups are a good way to build the strength in your arms, chest, back and shoulders without the need for additional exercise equipment. At times, however, you may begin to feel fatigue or soreness in your arms during this exercise. In rare cases, this pain or discomfort can turn into a tingling sensation if there is an additional underlying condition pressing on a nerve in your forearms. For more information on muscle numbness or tingling, speak to a physician or licensed fitness expert.
One example of a medical condition that may cause numbness or tingling in your forearms during exercise is a pinched nerve. According to the Mayo Clinic, a pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve or nerve bundle by surrounding tissues, including bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. While performing pushups, you can increase a level of pressure on the nerves in your shoulder and forearms, thus leading to the possibility of a pinched nerve in some cases. This condition is marked by pain, discomfort or tingling.
Another possible cause of numbness or tingling in your forearm during exercise is a lack of blood flow to your muscles. According to the National Institutes of Health, cholesterol can build in your veins or arteries due to atherosclerosis and potentially lead to reduced blood flow to various areas of your body, including your forearms. Numbness or tingling may result in this case, including potential fatigue in your muscles, as oxygen-rich blood is restricted. You may also feel numbness in additional areas of your body.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another potential cause of tingling or numbness in your forearms. This condition is caused by repeated overuse of the ligament, muscles and tendons of the forearm and, therefore, could worsen when performing certain levels of exercise, such as strenuous pushups. This condition is usually also accompanied by pulsing pain, even during periods of rest.
If you feel a sudden, sharp pain in your arms while exercising, this may be a sign of a muscle rupture, tendon tear, or other serious injury. Always allow for periods of rest in your workout routine to lower the risk of injury. While there is no threshold as to the number of pushups you should stay below, always remain focused on your fatigue level and know your individual limits.