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A move in a minute: The Push up

What is it?

A foundation body weight strength move that trains the chest, arms and core. It is basically a moving plank, with a chest press using some amount of your body weight.

Why do it?

It is a foundation movement that teaches how to have a strong core. It strengthens the arms and chest as well as the supporting shoulder stabilisers. It can be done anywhere by anyone (with modifications). It can be built up into one the hardest body weight strength moves, the one arm push up.

How to do it?

Copy me below:

Step by step

1) Set up correctly: hands slightly wider than shoulder width, hands just in front of shoulders, hands forward, feet together or max shoulder width apart. Brace your core and think you are doing a plank (you are), body one straight line.

2) Lower yourself until your elbows are bent to 90 degrees and you could only just get a tennis ball underneath your chest.

3) Keep the elbows tucked and tight, core braced, butt clenched.

4) Then when you are the bottom push the earth away from you will all of your chest and arms together.

5) Push back up to the top, core tight the whole time, make sure you are still one straight line and then repeat steps 2-4 as many times as you can keep good form.

How much?

Push ups are not that neurologically demanding, you are mostly resisting movement and then using your chest and triceps. You can handle quite a lot of volume with this exercise (ask anyone in the military). Work out how many you can do with good form on one day. That is your max number of reps. Lets say I can do 12 well. Then take off about 1/4 of that amount so take it down to 9. Then do 9 reps throughout the day whenever you feel like it. This is the greasing the groove method and great for body weight exercises. Next week add a rep, then another then another etc. Soon you will be busting out hundreds of good form pushups!

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