Just What the World Needs: A Better Push-Up

Perfect Pushups

Remember, it’s not what you do but how you do it. The same thing goes for push-ups. Push-ups are pretty straight forward right? Lie down on your stomach, legs extended, arms bent at the elbows and push away. But a few modifications — or at the very least strict attention to form — will result in your arms, shoulders and chest becoming completely redefined. We’re not reinventing the wheel but we are going to shake things up so you get the maximum benefit out of your push-ups.

Short and Intense

So instead of trying to get the most push-ups done in the shortest amount of time, which often results in you bouncing on your shoulders, try slowing things down. The optimum technique involves you going slow on the way down and slow on the way up. But more and more research is touting the benefits of short bursts of speed (SBE). 

I’m not talking necessarily interval training. With regards to the perfect push-up I’m talking a more plyometric approach: Once you touch your sternum to the floor, maintain your position for about three seconds and quickly push yourself up. Visualize an explosion of power. Once you are up, then slowly return to the ground; again touching your sternum to the floor. Now repeat until you are shaking all over like a catfish on a hot skillet. 

The Power of Three 

MensHealth.com suggests another approach but only if you can maintain good form. The challenge: See how many push-ups you can do in three minutes. To repeat what I said earlier, if you go too fast all you’ll find yourself doing is bouncing on your elbows and what good is that? The challenge here is go as quickly as you can but maintain strict form. I always recommend doing these with a friend so there’s someone to spot you to keep your back straight and your butt down. The other thing is to pace yourself. You’ll never see three minutes if you blow yourself out after 30 seconds. 

Three minutes, homey. You’ll never feel anything like it. 

Grandstand with the Handstand 

And now for real abuse, try the handstand push-up. It’s just what it says: With a wall as your backdrop kick your legs up into a handstand. Use the wall to maintain balance during the push-up phase. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up. With a friend you have the benefit of someone helping you push up. 

Push-ups are a low maintenance, high-result exercise that can produce big gains if done correctly. Whether performed traditionally or using any of the other techniques described above, pushups are a simple way to add tremendous core-building benefits to your weekly fitness routine!

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.