Quickly Strengthen Your Upper Body With Pyramid Push-Ups

Pyramid Push-Ups can help you improve conditioning and build muscle fast. Learn more about Pyramid Push-Ups at STACK.com.

Pyramid Push-UpsPush-Ups are a great—but often overlooked—exercise for athletes of any sport. You can do them anywhere, and it's easy to incorporate them into any workout. Why do you think the military has used Push-Ups as part of its fitness standards for more than a hundred years?

Pyramid Push-Ups are one way to get the most out of this exercise. Think of it as similar to a superset in the weight room. The result is an incredibly challenging workout with a minimal time commitment.

Pyramid Push-Up Benefits

Push-Ups work your chest, triceps and shoulders. They also serve as a killer core exercise. When you see poor Push-Up form, it's often a sign of a weak core. If you can't keep your hips in a straight line with your shoulders, then you need to do more Planks and work on your core stability. (Watch NBA superstar Brandon Jennings perform BOSU Planks.)

Assuming your form is perfect, Pyramid Push-Ups are terrific for athletes wanting a great workout in a short amount of time.

How to Perform Pyramid Push-Ups

Use a stopwatch, a watch with a second hand or a phone app to track your time. Make sure you are completing full Push-Ups by dropping your elbows to a 90-degree angle at the bottom. Lock your arms out at the top and keep your abs and glutes tight throughout the movement.

  • Perform 10 Push-Ups
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Perform nine Push-Ups
  • Rest nine seconds
  • Repeat this pattern all the way to the bottom of the pyramid (one Push-Up)

You will perform a total of 55 Push-Ups. The lactic acid will be burning throughout your upper body, much more so than what many athletes experience after an hour in the gym.

Continue performing this routine until you can start the pyramid at 20 Push-Ups and work your way down to one. The result will be a powerful upper body that translates onto the court, field or track for any sport.

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Joe Lopez, CSCS, works with many different athletes at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, N.J. His expertise is in track and field, baseball and golf. He has worked as a personal trainer for more than seven years. Follow him online at jerseystrong.wordpress.com or on Twitter.

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