San Diego Boot Camp teaches push ups

//San Diego Boot Camp teaches push ups

San Diego Boot Camp teaches push ups

The Push-up

It is notably one of the most well known exercises of all time, but that doesn’t mean people like it. In fact, the majority of people I know really HATE push-ups. More specifically, for people carrying extra body weight and for most females who feel they don’t have the upper body strength to do them correctly, push-ups tend to be an extremely unpleasant part of training especially when all you can do are modified push-ups on the knees.

With the help of this article, you will know everything you need to know about performing the push-up with proper form in addition to learning how to do more push-ups ASAP. Remember, people only hate what they are not good at it. In other words, I am confident that once you follow this program and are able to knock out a set of push ups with some ease, you will finally appreciate this incredible fitness tool. And though you may never be madly in love with push-up, you’ll at least be able to stomach them!

Right next to pull-ups, a push-up is the greatest upper body exercise of all time. In fact, I believe push-ups to be one of the best total body exercises around.

Push-ups work primarily your chest, triceps, and front shoulders. However they also place a great demand on your core strength and stability. After all, your spinal stabilizers (transverse abdominis and spinal erectors) need to have the endurance to maintain that critical straight-line position throughout the duration of your push-ups for optimal safety and performance. In addition, push-ups engage your scapular muscles (shoulder blades) in a way that most pushing exercises do not, thus providing some much needed mid and upper back work that most trainees are missing out on. Furthermore, maintaining the proper push-up position requires that you tense and engage every muscle on the front side of your body from your feet to your front shoulders. Heck, if you squeeze your glutes (which you should as this helps protect your lower back), you even get your booty involved!

Finally, push-ups are the ultimate anywhere, anytime exercise that requires nothing but your body weight and space the size of your frame to perform.

How to Perform a Perfect Push-up

Though nearly everyone has attempted a push-up at some time in his or her life, the vast majority of people have never performed a full range of motion floor push-up with perfect form and technique. If this describes you, don’t sweat it. It’s not your gym teacher actually taught you how to perform push-ups properly. I mean, haven’t we all heard this before:

“Alright 100 push-ups now! No, not like that, get lower! What are you, weak? It’s just a push-up! If you don’t do them right, we’re going to do them all day! I’ve got the time!”

But, what’s done is done. And though it was be a blast to kick the tar out of our former punishers, let’s focus on doing things right for ourselves. Below is a complete list of technique and coaching points regarding how to perform a perfect push-up:

Simultaneously tuck your elbows to your sides and pull your shoulders blades down and back: It’s critical to keep your elbows close to your ribcage while performing push-ups. Letting your elbows ‘sprawl’ away from your torso puts your rotator cuff at a much greater risk for injury. In addition, since most of us are so upper trap dominant, we tend to shrug our shoulders during push-ups. This scapular elevation can lead to clicking and grinding of the shoulder (known as shoulder impingement syndrome). To avoid these pitfalls, visualize trying to hug your elbows to your ribcage while cracking a nut between your shoulder blades during all push-ups.

Simultaneously suck in your gut and brace your abs: As mentioned earlier, the push-up is a great core exercise that requires good muscular endurance for your deep spinal stabilizers. By pulling your navel to your spine and bracing your abs as if you we about to be kicked in the gut, you will best activate those key core muscles while performing push-ups.

Simultaneously tense your thighs and squeeze your glutes: The straighter your legs during the push-up the more stable you will be. This is easily accomplished by tensing your thighs throughout the exercise. Furthermore, tense your butt cheeks- this helps relax overactive hip flexors, thus alleviating unnecessary strain on the lower back.

Power breathing: In general, seek to focus on inhaling during the lowering portion of the push-up and then forcefully exhaling during the lifting portion of the push-up. By filling your belly with air during the lowering portion of the push-up your make it easier to stabilize your spine, meaning that your core remains locked in thus allowing for a smooth and seamless transition from the down position to the up position.

Spread your fingers: Many people complain of wrist pain while they do push-ups. This usually stems from a combination of a lack of mobility at the wrist joint and a lack of flexibility of the forearm flexors and extensors. Plus, many people simply have weak wrists from a lack of weight-bearing exercises in their daily routine. Think about it- we do not do as much as we used to do with our hands and are rarely in a position where our wrists our supporting our entire body weight (besides when doing push-ups). One way to take pressure off of your wrists during push-ups is to focus on spreading your fingers as far apart as possible. This expands the surface area and thus dissipates some of the excess strain on the wrists. Furthermore, doing fist push-ups or push-ups with your hands on a dumbbell (or push-up handles) tends to significantly alleviate if not eliminate any unwanted wrist issues. This neutral grip allows you get all of the benefits of push-ups so that your wrists do not continue to be the biggest limiting factor for your push-up goals. In addition, the neutral grip also makes it easier to keep your helps tucked to your sides and shoulders down and back for optimal shoulder safety.

Be flat as a diving board: Throughout the entire movement, the key is to maintain a straight line from the heels through the shoulders. You must not let your hips sag as this will put undue strain on your lower back in the form of hyper-extension. Furthermore, you must avoid raising or piking your hips because this not only takes a way much needed core work, but also results in a rounding of the upper back that potentially results in unwanted shoulder issues (impingement, rotator cuff strains, etc.).

The Official Push-up Boot Camp Program

Step#1 – Find your current Push-up Total

Assuming a regular floor push-up position, perform as many reps as possible (AMRAP) with perfect form and technique in 60 seconds. Be sure to place a tennis ball or yoga brick on the floor- your chest must make contact with this object to count as a full rep. Record your rep total and then take 60 seconds of rest (no longer). Repeat by performing one more set of AMRAP in 60 seconds and then record your second set total. Add both your set one and set two totals and then divide by two. This is your current push-up total.

Step#2 – Follow the custom push-up boot camp program based on your current push-up total:

The following program will systematically take you from level I to level IV six weeks at a time (not including a week of rest between levels). It is important to note that you must be following the appropriate fat loss training (total body strength circuits and cardio interval training) and nutrition plan to lose unwanted body fat that is weighing you down and literally halting your push-up totals in its tracks. In addition, be sure to change up the selected push-up variation at each and every strength workout to best prevent training plateaus. Here’s an example of how to switch things up for one week of training:

Day1 – Close-Grip Push-up Variation

(to emphasize the triceps and front shoulders to improve push-up lockout)

Day2 – Loaded/Band-Resisted Push-up Variation

(to improve strength and thus make it easier to perform body weight push-ups)

Day3 – Stability Ball Push-up Variation – Hands Ball

(to build trunk and scapular strength stability to prevent injury and maximize force output)

Remember, the better you get at every push-up variation the better you will get at regular push-ups. Once you achieve a current push-up total of 30 reps or more, you will notice the focus now will be on getting stronger by mastering the 1-arm push-up. Improving maximum strength automatically improves your muscular endurance, though it doesn’t work the same the other way around.

Please note that you should only follow this program if you have healthy shoulders. In addition, since you will be performing extra pushing movements, it is critical to add in some scapular retraction and depression work to prevent unwanted strength imbalances. Please note the addition of a certain amount of reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats following each set of push-ups for your ‘Extra Push-up Work’ to achieve this end. The Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squat was selected because it simultaneously works your upper back and opens up your chest while working your lower body to boost metabolism. Plus, it’s an exercise you can do anywhere. Lastly, the ‘Extra Push-up Work’ is best performed throughout the day to be fresh and allow for full recovery.

Level

Current Push-up Total

Push-up Protocol

Level I

0-1

Main Strength Workout: Perform max reps or a max hold for time for a different push-up variation at each of 3 strength workouts per week with ideally a day of rest between workouts

Extra Push-up Work: Perform 5 sets per day of negative push-ups with the following weekly progressions Monday through Friday (weekends off):

Week1- 5 sets of 2 reps of 5-second negatives
Week2- 5 sets of 3 reps of 6-second negatives
Week3- 5 sets of 4 reps of 7-second negatives
Week4- 5 sets of 5 reps of 8-second negatives
Week5- 5 sets of 5 reps of 9-second negatives
Week6- 5 sets of 5 reps of 10-second negatives

-Follow each set of push-ups with 10 reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats

Level II

2-5

Main Strength Workout: Perform max reps or a max hold for time for a different push-up variation at each of 3 strength workouts per week with ideally a day of rest between workouts

Extra Push-up Work: Perform 5 sets per day of regular floor push-ups with the following weekly progressions Monday through Friday (weekends off):

Week1- 5 sets of 1 rep
Week2- 5 sets of 2 reps
Week3- 5 sets of 3 reps
Week4- 5 sets of 4 reps
Week5- 5 sets of 5 reps
Week6- 5 sets of 6 reps

-Follow each set of push-ups with 20 reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats

Level III

6-12

Main Strength Workout: Perform max reps or a max hold for time for a different push-up variation at each of 3 strength workouts per week with ideally a day of rest between workouts

Extra Push-up Work: Perform 5 sets per day of regular floor push-ups with the following weekly progressions Monday through Friday (weekends off):

Week1- 5 sets of 5 reps
Week2- 5 sets of 6 reps
Week3- 5 sets of 7 reps
Week4- 5 sets of 8 reps
Week5- 5 sets of 9 reps
Week6- 5 sets of 10 reps

-Follow each set of push-ups with 30 reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats

Level IV

13-20

Main Strength Workout: Perform max reps or a max hold for time for a different push-up variation at each of 3 strength workouts per week with ideally a day of rest between workouts

Extra Push-up Work: Perform 5 sets per day of regular floor push-ups with the following weekly progressions Monday through Friday (weekends off):

Week1- 5 sets of 10 reps
Week2- 5 sets of 12 reps
Week3- 5 sets of 14 reps
Week4- 5 sets of 16 reps
Week5- 5 sets of 18 reps
Week6- 5 sets of 20 reps

-Follow each set of push-ups with 40 reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats

Level V

21-30

Main Strength Workout: Perform max reps or a max hold for time for a different push-up variation at each of 3 strength workouts per week with ideally a day of rest between workouts

Extra Push-up Work: Perform 5 sets per day of regular floor push-ups with the following weekly progressions Monday through Friday (weekends off):

>Week1- 5 sets of 20 reps
Week2- 5 sets of 22 reps
Week3- 5 sets of 24 reps
Week4- 5 sets of 26 reps
Week5- 5 sets of 28 reps
Week6- 5 sets of 30 reps

-Follow each set of push-ups with 50 reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats

Level VI

31+

Main Strength Workout: Perform max reps or a max hold for time for a different push-up variation at each of 3 strength workouts per week with ideally a day of rest between workouts

Extra Push-up Work: Perform 5 sets per day of a 1-arm push-ups variation with the following weekly progressions Monday through Friday (weekends off). Progress from stage 1 to stage 3 in choosing the appropriate 1-arm push-up variation:

Week1- 5 sets of 1 rep
Week2- 5 sets of 2 reps
Week3- 5 sets of 3 reps
Week4- 5 sets of 4 reps
Week5- 5 sets of 5 reps
Week6- 5 sets of 6 reps

Stage1- Modified 1-Arm Push-ups on Knees/Inclined

Stage2- Regular 1-Arm Push-ups 5-second Negatives

Stage3- Regular 1-Arm Push-ups

-Follow each set of push-ups with 60 reps of Body Weight Prisoner or Y Squats

Step#3 – Re-Test Your Current Push-up Total

At the end of each 6-week training block, take 5 full days of rest before re-testing your new push-up total exactly as previously outlined in step one. Record your new push-up total and then take the rest of the week off for recovery before moving on to the next level of push-up boot camp.

Well, you now know everything you need to know to safely and effectively perform more push-ups than 99+% of the world. Remember, the leaner you are the better you will be at push-ups and the more push-ups you can do, the better you will look- time to master the push-up![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By | 2016-11-07T10:52:01+00:00 April 27th, 2009|Categories: Fitness & Exercise|0 Comments

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