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."
• 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
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock