The push-up is hands down one of the absolute best bodyweight exercises to strengthen your entire upper body and core. It’s simple, yet effective, and there are several variations that can be done for an added challenge. Does being able to bang out 100 push-ups mean you’re destined to win a powerlifting competition? Absolutely not. However, it is an impressive feat of strength, movement proficiency, and body control.
Here, we asked Spartan Master Coach Trevor Franklin for his tips on how to transform your body into a push-up-producing machine.
How to Do More Push-Ups
1. Do Push-Ups Daily
If you want to do more push-ups, you’ve got to have a program in place that incorporates push-ups almost every day, according to Coach Trevor. You can’t get any better without consistent practice, right?
“Gains are then made when you progressively overload the body by adding more reps, and adding endurance, strength, and power to the push-up,” he says.
2. Try Three-Phase Push-Ups
“The eccentric phase of the push-up is where a majority of the muscle strength and growth occurs,” Trevor says.
One way to get stronger is to simply experiment with different speeds and tempos by challenging your control.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start in a plank position, lower yourself down to the ground while counting for three seconds, have your chest touch the ground, then come back up in one second.
- Start in plank position, lower down until your chest is about three inches off of the ground, hold for three seconds, and then come back up in one second.
- Start in plank position, lower your chest to the ground, then explode as fast as possible.
The slight variation to each push-up can make a big difference. Perform five repetitions for each one.
3. Use Bands to Build Power
Another way to break through a push-up plateau is to shift your training focus to be slightly more power-focused instead of strength-focused. Coach Trevor recommends a simple banded push-up.
“Take a medium resistance band, wrap it through your hands and around your back and start doing push-ups with that,” he says. “The key is to work on your control on the way down and then explosive power on the way up, fighting for full extension at the top."
Related: 5 Ways to Build Muscle Without Weights
How To Do the Perfect Push-Up
Follow These Steps:
- Place your hands about shoulder-width apart with your feet close together (or further apart if you need more support).
- Engage your core so that your body is a straight line, from your head to your heels.
- Focus your gaze straight to the floor so that your neck remains in a neutral position.
- Begin to lower yourself to the ground with your elbows slightly tucked to your sides.
- Once you reach approximately one inch from the ground, slightly pause, and return to the start position, pause, and repeat.