By Matt Barrett
If you know someone who claims that they can bust out 80 to 100 push ups, the likelihood is that they might be able to do 20 with strict and proper form — if they’re lucky! The push up is an ultimate builder for your chest and triceps. If you add push ups to your fitness routine (and you do them with perfect form), you will press about 65-70% of your body weight and you will get amazing results, fast. It’s important that you focus on form, because poor form is a recipe for disaster on your joints and muscles.
Your first set up point should be starting with your hands directly under your shoulders. Your head should remain neutral with a braced core to protect your spine. While pressing up, twist your hands on the ground almost as if you are opening a jar of something. This will protect your shoulders and keep the weight loaded onto your pecs as you press up. Once you can complete ten push ups with perfect form, then you can start including some more variety to your push ups to make them more challenging.
For my advanced clients, my favourite finisher to make their chest scream is a push up pyramid. Start with one push up, and then rest for five seconds. Next, complete two push ups with perfect form, and then rest for five seconds. Move up and repeat until you hit ten push ups with perfect form, and then descend all the way back down to one again.
As you read this, you might say this sounds easy — but once it’s all said and done, you will have completed 100 perfect form push ups with just a little over a minute rest. The high volume as a finisher will have your chest gains busting out of that shirt. Give it a try, and we guarantee that you’ll be happy with the results!
Matt Barrett is the owner of Barrett Fitness. He is a strength and conditioning coach who works with a wide array of clients from athletes to every day warriors. He believes in delivering functional fitness for everyone for real results through real education. Check out www.barrettfitness.ca and you can also follow on Instagram @barrettfitness.ca for free advice and information.