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Everything You Need to Master the Push-Up
The Push-up is the exercise that we have all come to equate with fitness. If you can do 50 Push-ups in one minute, you are considered "fit". But how many people actually do Push-ups the right way? Do you know for a fact that your form is just right, or are you "cheating" a bit with every Push-up? Below you'll find everything you need to know to master the Push-up like a superstar!
Try the Dead Stop Push-Up
If you think you're doing the Push-ups right every time and you've got the muscles to show for it, try the Dead Stop Push-up. Basically, you do a regular Push-up, but you lower yourself all the way to the floor, rest your body on the floor for a moment, and lift your hands from the ground for just a second before pushing back up. This eliminates the "stretch reflex"--your muscles' natural reaction to "spring back" to its normal state after being stretched in the push-up. When you take your hands off the ground, it puts all the effort on your chest, arms, and shoulders without any "help" from your body. If you can do 30 of these Push-ups in a single minute, you'll be better off than 90% of the world's population!
Add the Dead Stop Push-up Into Your Regular Routine
For those who are trying to build upper body strength, the Push-up is one of the best exercises to do! Not only will it help to build massive chest muscles, but it will strengthen your triceps and round out your shoulders. All in all, it's one of the most effective upper body movements, which is why it should be an important part of your daily workout. When it comes to chest day, you may not want to waste your time on bench presses or dumbbell flys. Instead, do a few rounds of Push-ups, and add the Dead Stop Push-ups into your routine. You'll get a GREAT workout, and you will push your chest and arms hard!
Get that Form Just Right
The form of the Push-up is actually a lot harder to master than you might think! To do your push-up just right: 1) Drive your palms into the floor, twisting them outward slightly. This will help to improve stability in your upper body, giving you more power. 2) Keep your arms straight, and align your hands with your shoulders. This will reduce the strain on your joints. 3) Squeeze your glutes, as that locks your hips in place. This will help to keep your body straight, taking the strain off your lower back. 4) Tighten your abs, as if someone is going to punch your stomach. This increases your core tension, thereby increasing your overall stability. 5) Press your feet together. You'll feel this in your legs, and the increased muscle tension in your body will increase the production of muscular power.
Don’t Push Too Hard
You're going to spend a lot of energy doing Push-ups at first, as they are pretty demanding and will force your body to work harder than it would while doing bench presses or flys. Take it easy at first, giving your body a chance to work up to where you want it to be. Do sets with fewer Push-ups, and give yourself longer periods of rest between each set. This will ensure that your body can produce enough energy to keep your shoulders, arms, and chest working for more sets, and you'll be able to "go the distance" with your Push-up workout!