Casually glossed over as rudimentary, the push-up is a movement vastly underappreciated and ill-performed to the detriment of us all. The push-up is without question the building block for all pressing movements and in one of the early CrossFit Journal articles written by Coach Glassman himself, you can see that developing true push-up/bodyweight pressing strength is something that takes years to develop.
The “true” push-up, according to Coach Glassman, is done with supreme rigidity throughout the whole body.
“The two most common “reaching” cheats are done by craning the neck to find the ground with the nose early or dropping the belly to find bottom early. The ideal is
to retard, not advance, the body’s parts from finding bottom – nose, chest, belly, thighs, and pelvis are each in a race to see which can reach bottom last, not first.”
The “true” push-up is the great building block from which all other bodyweight pressing movements are derived. Master the first of Coach Glassmans’ 10 bodyweight pressing milestones and you’ll see for yourself just how hard it is to reach world class pressing ability. The push-up will lead into things like the handstand push-up on the wall, handstand push-up without the wall, and the monster of them all, handstand push-ups on fingertips without the use of the wall. Once you’re able to do that, things like a bodyweight strict press will become more of a reflex for you than a challenge.
“The handstand push-up, at the far end of the progression, is a challenging exercise that, when freed from the wall, becomes an extraordinary feat of strength and balance that has no peer in weightlifting movements. At the moment of performing twenty handstand push-ups
without benefit of the wall, the athlete has achieved a level of strength and balance that not one in a hundred thousand gym goers will ever realize.”
So, pay more attention to your “true” push-up technique and start seeing improvements in all other pressing movements like never before!
Coach Glassmans’ 10 Push-up Milestones and Challenges:
1. 50 “true” push-ups unbroken
2. 10 strict handstand push-ups unbroken with the wall
3. 100 “true” push-ups unbroken
4. 15 strict handstand push-ups unbroken with the wall
5. Tabata “true” push-ups with 20 reps in all 8 rounds
6. 1 strict handstand push-up without the use of the wall
7. 10 strict handstand push-ups without the use of the wall
8. 15 strict handstand push-ups without the use of the wall
9. 20 strict handstand push-ups without the use of the wall
10. 1 handstand push-up without the use of the wall ON YOUR FINGERTIPS