The push-up has long been a movement forgotten in a typical globo gym setting. Just think – when was the last time you went to a globo gym and saw someone just doing sets of push-ups? My wager would be you’ve never seen that. I would wager even further that the person wasn’t doing them properly. The push-up, for whatever reason, gets neglected. However, show me someone who can do 50 unbroken perfect push-ups and I promise they’ll have little to no problem benching or doing strict press of their body weight.
The push-up is the starting point for all the family of presses just like the squat is the starting point for the family of Olympic lifts. A solid push-up is a prerequisite to all other pressing. A perfect push-up is really done on parallel bars, but since most people don’t have access to those, we’ll talk about doing one on the floor. The perfect push-up begins in the standard push-up position. Feet together, hips in line with shoulders, hands on the floor slightly outside shoulder width and arms completely locked out. The belly button should be married to the pelvis at the onset. As the movement begins, the head remains neutral, while the job of the chest, belly, and thighs is to remain as taut and rigid as possible as well. The goal is to play a game of sorts. A race. The winner, between the chest, belly and thighs, is whoever reaches the floor last. Once everything is touching the floor the ascent can begin. It’s imperative that the same amount of rigidity be applied. Leaving the hips behind is a classic fault when performing push-ups. An easy way to make sure the ascent is as perfect as the descent is to keep your eyes on the relationship between the hips and shoulders. Do they rise at the same rate? If the answer is yes, you’re likely doing a perfect push-up.
One of the original CrossFit Journal articles is written about the push-up and in it, there is a milestone list for developing superior pressing strength. It begins like this.
- 50 perfect unbroken push-ups
- 10 unbroken handstand push-ups on the wall
- 100 perfect unbroken push-ups
- 15 unbroken handstand push-up on the wall
- Tabata push-ups with 20 reps in all 8 intervals
- 1 handstand push-up WITHOUT the wall
- 10 handstand push-ups WITHOUT the wall
- 15 handstand push-ups WITHOUT the wall
- 20 handstand push-ups WITHOUT the wall
- 1 handstand push-up WITHOUT the wall and on FINGERTIPS only
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still working on trying to complete number 3. In that original article, it also states that someone who can perform at least 1 really good handstand push-up without the wall can probably perform a strict press of 1.5x body weight. I guess I’ll be practicing a lot more freestanding handstand push-ups. You should too!
To learn more about how to do great push-ups, whether it’s one, two, ten, or 100 (yep, we can’t all do 50…or even 10…or 1 just yet, but we work toward the next thing, right?), contact us to set up a time to come in & talk about your fitness goals. You can text us at 210-361-3114 or schedule with us here.