Push-ups are a versatile full-body exercise intended to build strength in your upper body and core. Muscles used include chest, triceps, front shoulders and your abdominals. If you do push-ups on a regular basis, you will soon be able to do more than 15 in a row. Beyond that number, you will build little muscle mass and instead the push-up becomes a cardiovascular exercise, meaning it primarily strengthens your heart as opposed to your upper body. To increase strength and muscle mass, you must add weight to your push-ups.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Weight plate
- Strong person to spot you
- Power rack
- Weight belt
Make sure you can do a set of at least 15 standard push-ups on your feet using proper form before you attempt doing a super-weighted push-up. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, positioned right under your shoulders, your feet on your toes and your body straight like a plank. You abdominals must be contracted throughout the entire set.
Find someone strong who can spot you to ensure you do the exercise correctly and maintain good form. The person should either straddle you or kneel to one side of you to help you balance the weight plate on your back while you do the weighted push-up.
Pick a weight plate that is appropriate for your fitness level. If you can only do 15 push-ups, begin with a 4.54kg weight plate. Get into the up position of a push-up, meaning your arms are fully extended and your body is off the floor. Have the spotter place the weight between your shoulder blades and do as many push-ups as you can, using good form.
Increase the size of the weight plate when you can do 15 push-ups with the 4.54kg weight plate. Add about 1.36 to 2.27kg each time you increase, which you should do every three weeks.
Switch to a power rack and a weight belt when you can easily do 15 push-ups with 40.8kg on your back. Set up the power rack so that one rail is about 4 feet above the floor and the other 2 feet above. Attach the 40.8kg weight plate to the belt and attach the belt around your waist.
Go inside the power rack and squat down in front of the higher rail. Move the belt from the waist up to your mid-back. You must maintain the weight belt here while doing the super-weighted push-up to protect your lower back.
Grab the higher rail and put your feet on the lower. Lower your body just like you were doing a regular push-up on the floor and then push back up. Have your spotter watch you to make sure you use proper form.
Tips and warnings
- Do not put a weight plate on your back while you are in the down position of a push-up. It can injure your shoulders.
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