Alliteration aside, progressing beyond the push-up is something all youth athletes and fitness enthusiasts want to do, yet most haven’t primed their bodies from a physical point of view. I wanted to start doing some REALLY cool stuff as soon as possible.
But, my body simply wasn’t ready. I was competing with breakdancers and gymnasts who have been prepping their bodies for YEARS for this type of overhead activity when I was only 14. So what did I do? I had to learn how to progress the difficulty of the standard push-up without totally flipping over and falling on my head.
In this second portion of the push-up series, I’ll go over the various ways to progress past the initial movement itself.
From when I was young, push-ups were attractive to me for a few reasons:
They are easy to understand – hands on the floor, and push away from the the floor. Done.
It offered quick results – do one more push-up than your previous best attempt, and you were stronger, and had more endurance. Doing rep upon rep of push-ups will definitely boost a young man’s confidence.
It is easy to show off as a young’n – after learning the basics, I began to experiment and play around with the push-up and found out I was pretty decent at them!
However, despite all these awesome reasons why the push-up was the bomb growing up, it is still butchered to this day.
“How can I master the squat? Or the bench? Listen, all I want to do is put more weight on the bar and get stronger in the process.”
I hear you, and there are plenty of ways we can do the above – it just depends on each person’s biomechanics, training level, and previous injury level if any. We could row and shrug to get a bigger upper back (wouldn’t hurt for any of the above), do pause reps when we can, and do some speed reps, among a host of other ways of adding numbers to the bar.
However, it should be emphasized that these approaches to increasing pounds on the bar are secondary to the internal techniques that should reign supreme when talking about gaining “strength” and mastering a movement.
Enjoy mastery of any movement with these simple techniques.
Minimize your exercise selection, along with managing fatigue.
Maximize local and global tension used when performing any movement.