A top trainer shared some simple tips for doing more push-ups
Strength Coach and Athlean-X Founder Jeff Cavaliere CSCS makes a wide range of videos with helpful tips on how to get in shape, consistently stick to your fitness goals, and to sustainably develop your muscles. In his latest video, following his tips for doing more pull-ups, Cavaliere breaks down his tactics for improving push-up performance no matter where you are in terms of ability.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean producing endless easy reps. Instead, Cavaliere suggests thinking about the difficulty of the move, rather than the numbers.
“If you can hit 30 of any variation of a push-up, it’s time to stop doing that push-up and focus on something harder instead,” he says. “Something that mechanically challenges the same muscles in a harder way, to deliver the progressive overload you’re looking for.”
For beginners, Cavaliere recommends the knee push, which takes some of the weight off your upper body and allows you to focus primarily on getting your technique correct. Once you can perform this with good form for up to 30 reps, move on to standard pushups and perfect them, including full elbow extension at the top end of each rep. “People always cut off the last two inches, which is the most productive part of the exercise,” he says.
If you already do classic pushups with ease, move on to the hand release pushup, where you lift your hands off the floor at the bottom of each rep. This removes momentum from the equation and slows the pace of the exercise. “Every time you slow down the tempo during a push-up, it gets harder,” says Cavaliere.
Next is the pushup pause, which uses the same principle, pausing the repetition for three seconds at the bottom of each movement. Once you’ve mastered this, try the one-and-a-half push-up, which is exactly what it sounds like, and add an extra half-rep to each move, testing your body control and your ability to pull yourself together. raise half way down and then lower again between full reps.
The slow motion lowers the tempo even further and requires a full five seconds to come up and then an additional five seconds to come down, creating more opportunities for eccentric overload in the lower half of the rep.
“At this point, the best thing you can do is reduce the number of points of contact you have with the ground,” says Cavaliere, demonstrating dynamic three-point variations that remove one of those points of contact, exerting greater pressure on the other three. , like the prowler, Spider-man, stepper push-ups and cross knees.
Another way to increase the difficulty is to put more effort on the chest and less on the triceps by adopting a wide arm form. “The wider the hands, the less elbow extension we get to perform the push-up, the less the triceps contribute to the exercise,” Cavaliare says. You can then take this same wide-grip approach and introduce a dynamic element with the archer’s push-up, which shifts the load of your body weight from left to right, making it harder.
Finally, the plyometric push-up adds an explosive movement to lift the body off the ground for maximum difficulty.
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