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The Ultimate Push-Up Workout Plan

February 12, 2013 | Barrett Stover

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Guys seem to get a testosterone rush from the Bench Press. But often the compulsion to press maximum weight leads athletes to compromise their shoulder health. The solution? Push-Ups. (Perfect your technique: Perform Perfect Push-Ups.)

Often overlooked because of its simplicity, the Push-Up is an amazing exercise, benefiting the chest, core and shoulder muscles. When done properly, Push-Ups are also pretty useful in burning fat. For these reasons, I believe Push-Ups should be included in every workout program. Want to add strength and size while increasing your shoulder stability? The following Push-Up workout plan is for you.

Push-Up Workout Plan

Weighted Push-Ups

Sets/Reps: 4x4

  • Place plates on your upper back or wear a weighted vest (See Six Rules for Weight Vest Training)
  • Use enough weight so four reps will be challenging
  • While preforming, make sure your body stays flat and your lower back does not sag
  • Rest 90 to 120 seconds between sets

Triangle Push-Ups

The trick is to keep your hands as close as possible. This will recruit the maximum amount of muscle.

Sets/Reps: 3x10

  • In a push-up position, make a triangle with your hands
  • Rest one minute between sets
  • Want to increase difficulty? Elevate your feet on a bench, chair or small table

Pause Push-Ups

The pause technique is often used during a Bench Press to help get past the "sticking point" at the bottom of the press.

Sets/Reps: 3x8

  • Perform Push-Ups, pausing at the bottom
  • Hold pause for one second before returning to the top
  • Rest one minute between sets
  • Want to increase difficulty? Add weight

Physioball Push-Ups

Completing Push-Ups on an unstable surface at the end of a workout will really make your shoulder stabilizers work. You will feel your arms shaking as the ball moves slightly. To keep you from falling over, the smaller muscles in your shoulder (rotator cuff, deltoids, scapula stabilizers) will activate. This is a really great exercise for athletes requiring overhead strength.

Sets/Reps: 3x8

  • Place hands on top of physioball or BOSU
  • To increase difficulty, move your hands to the sides of the ball

Check out three more Physioball Push-Ups.

Topics: PUSH-UP | CHEST
Barrett Stover
- Barrett Stover is currently a candidate for a Master’s of Sports Performance at Louisiana Tech University, where he assists with the strength and conditioning program...
Barrett Stover
- Barrett Stover is currently a candidate for a Master’s of Sports Performance at Louisiana Tech University, where he assists with the strength and conditioning program...
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