Push-Up to the Top

You may look like a fish out of water when performing Plyo Push-ups, but no matter what event you swim, they will help you make "fintastic" gains in the speed department.

Plyo Push-ups are an explosive exercise that works your chest muscles. Beijing Olympian Mark Gangloff, who competed in the 100-meter breaststroke, incorporated them into the Elastic Equivalent Training program prescribed by his strength coach, Chris Ritter.

Gangloff performs a slow, heavy lift—e.g., the Bench Press—at 100 percent max effort, followed by a set of explosive Plyo Push-ups, which use the same muscle group. Ritter says, "We vertically load it, so you don't stay on one exercise and go four sets—you're cycling through it circuit-style. That allows more recovery for each exercise, so [you can exert] maximal effort. This is where you get the power and reactive force, [and] you can go to the water and transfer that."

Plyo Push-ups
• Assume push-up position
• Lower body to ground to begin push-up
• Explode up off the ground
• Land in starting position and repeat movement

Sets/Reps/Rest: 4x12 with 2 minutes rest
Coaching Points: Start with just hands coming off ground, then move to full body // Get off ground as quickly as possible


Zac Clark Zac Clark - Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine at the USA Hockey national headquarters...
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