Sadly, the push-up can be neglected or take a back seat to the bench press. Maybe it doesn’t look as cool or as intense – what are your thoughts? Maybe the push up has gotten some more love during the pandemic because it’s something that you can do at any time, anywhere. DROP DOWN AND GIVE ME 10… just kidding, maybe. Even still, the push-up is underutilized.
The push up is a great way to overload and scale back, if needed. It is a proven way to improve upper body strengths while building the pecs, triceps and delts. There’s a lot to be said about the push-up and its relationship with our health. If you think about it, being able to push up your own body weight is pretty bad-ass and a great way to determine your overall fitness level. A push up is a great marker tool to predict future strength and general health. In a 2019 study that followed over 1500 participants for 10 years found that a higher push-up capacity was associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular events.
Wall Push Up
One of the push-up’s best assets is its versatility. You get to customize it to your current fitness level and tailor as you progress. We recommend starting off with learning about the push up and making sure that your form is helping you get the most out of the exercise.
Give the wall push up a try first. It’s the easiest version of the push-up.
Incline Push Up
Make things a little more challenging by finding a bench. Keep your arms and elbows close to the body and aim for getting yourself to do 3 sets of 10 comforrtably.
Knee Push Ups
You may have heard of these before or otherwise known as sissy push-ups. We’re not really about that name, but this is a great technique to follow your progression. Keep knees on the ground – feet are optional.
The time is here. It’s the push-up in its purest form. Keep your body straight by squeezing the glutes, keeping chest and head aligned. When you are able to do 3 sets of 10 in a row comfortably, then it may be time to try to amp it up.
Grab a resistance band and put it across your back / underneath each hand. Perform the push up as thought it was normal. The band is a great opportunity to create more tension and contraction at the top of the movement. After you have gotten comfortable with using a band, you can find a higher level band for more of a challenge. LET’S GOOOOO!
Ah, it’s our personal favorite. The weighted push-up is the final variation of this movement that still allows room for more challenge & strength. There are many ways to change it up by increasing the load, reps, or slowing down the tempo to really focus on the lowering movement. You can use a weighted vest or an actual weighted plate – maybe even a friend!
It’s go time!
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