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Strength Tip Of The Day…The Push Up

Strength Tip Of The Day…The Push Up

by: Brandon Richey

Strength Tip Of The Day…The Push Up

For many push ups can start out being a difficult exercise to perform, but for others push ups can become a regular part of a sound strength and conditioning program. I believe push ups should play an integral part in preparing every athlete to perform better. Without push ups you might as well be eating a bowl of soup with chopsticks.

So Why Push Ups Brandon? 

First and foremost push ups provide all of us with a solid base for developing strength and as a bodyweight exercise it does wonders for the joints, particularly the shoulders. Aside from having to stabilize the body in a uniform plank position you also have to lower and raise the body as a rigid unit to and from the ground. In addition to building tremendous core strength from doing this you also can build some serious shoulder girdle stability as well.

Check out this mean bodyweight guide!

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The act of pushing your body from the ground up (with proper technique) allows for the shoulder at the head of the humerus to externally rotate within the glenoid cavity. Throughout the act of performing the push ups you are essentially allowing the shoulder to function in a corkscrew like motion on the inside while muscles on the outside harden and strengthen like 10 gauge steel during the movement.

The push up exercise can be very basic, but once you feel that you are starting to master this particular drill you can easily make modifications to it to transform the once easy to perform push up into a humbling ball busting push up. Case in point the one arm push up drill as I’m demonstrating here.

You see by simply redistributing your bodyweight you can quickly advance the push up to become something more than just a push up. Once you get a handle on executing different styles of push ups with the confidence of absolute strength then you can jump in and add a speed element to the drill perhaps in the form of a plyometric. This will definitely add some “pop” to your push up drills.

You see once you meet these progressions you are doing something more than just push ups, you’re mastering your own body! There’s just no substitute for the almighty push up, or for the family of variations that come along for the ride. At the end of the day equipment should be your last concern. Make these ball busters part of your strength program.

This is a tremendous bodyweight guide to help you master more than the basics!

The Naked Warrior

Feel free to leave your questions or comments in the comment box below. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Start your smart training today.

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Strength Tip Of The Day…The Push Up



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Hi Brandon–

    Can you give some clear instruction on “what the heck to do” after one experiences a broken bone or two in the ankle? I know first you have to do everything the ortho doc says, and then after the cast is off, time in physical therapy. Can a trainer help rehab an ankle so one can regain a sense of physical fitness? How exactly does this process work? Thanks!

    1. Cindy I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to me. First and foremost whenever getting over a serious injury that requires surgery you want to really focus on everything your doctor and therapist are telling you to do. In my experience many folks neglect this to a large degree. The reason is I think many tend to view some of the exercises necessary for getting better as being too “simple” or just not that important because they may seem too easy.

      Trust me they are VERY important. The objective is to restore the function of the joint that was injured, but keep in mind that you can have function if the joint is 70% of what it was prior to the injury, but if you’re like me I’d rather have it as close to 100% as possible. This means that you must follow the instructions of your therapist and be adamant about doing so.

      As far as answering your question about training in a post rehab session it’s a very loaded question. It’s difficult for me to map out everything I would do for you at this time post rehab b/c everyone has different ability levels as they come out of rehab. Once again though keep in mind that we want to make sure we restore function and once that function is restored then we want to build on the strength of both the joint and your body as a whole. The healthier you are as a whole the faster you’ll recover from the injury period. Remember the ankle is the current focus, but we want to build it as well as the strength and fitness of you from head to toe. I hope this was helpful and look forward to seeing you again soon.

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