is a GREAT way to add resistance to the push-up and get
the bodyweight-exercise benefits of the push-up.
If you can do
more than 15 reps of push-ups, they won't build a whole
lot of muscle. But when you add significant resistance,
they can be even better than heavy bench press for
adding mass and strength. Moving your body through space
means greater muscle fiber activation and greater functional
This setup allows
you to easily add as much (or as little) weight as you want
to the exercise! (and it beats trying to find a person to
sit on your back).
need a power rack - set one safety rail near the very bottom
(this is where your feet will be placed - maybe one or two
notches up) and one about 2 to 3 feet or so off the ground
(this is where your hands go).
If you don't
have a rack but have a Smith machine or other adjustable-height
bar setup, you can very easily use this exercise as well...just
set the Smith bar higher and set your your feet on a bench
or other low object. The reason you'll need to get your
feet up is that otherwise the plates are probably going
to hit the floor at the bottom of the rep.
To add weight,
you'll need a dip belt - I'm using 90 lbs on the belt in
the demo here. Start by getting the weight around your waist.
** Now here's
the trick...you won't be leaving the weight on your waist.
Instead, squat down and rest the weight plates on the ground
- now slide the belt up to your mid-back. This will place
it closer to your chest and shoulders and take any potential
stress off the lower back during the exercise.
putting the weight closer to where your body is supporting
it so that you're not putting pressure on the lower back.
Set your hands
on the higher rail - right out to the sides near the uprights
(or wherever is comfortable to you for a push-up).
Now step back
and put your feet up on the lower safety rail. Your body
should be in a pike position (slightly bent at the waist)
- this will be the easiest on your lower back. At the top
of the exercise, notice how my back is almost horizontal
- these two things (along with the belt being higher up
on my back) make this easy on the lower back. The pike position
really takes the stress of the back and puts it on the chest.
down to the bottom of the push-up position then push back
up, just like you were doing a regular push-up on the floor!
able to add pretty much as much weight as you like or need,
this is a VERY useful exercise. If you ever can't complete
a rep, all you have to do is step down and you're done.
This makes it an ideal way to really work the push-up hard
and get the "bodyweight exercise" benefits of
the push-up while still getting the "progressive resistance"
benefits of a free weight exercise.
Now check out
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Chest Exercises Now for
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