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A Small Tip To Get The Most From Your Push Up…Which Many Do Not Know

November 23rd, 2009 · 3 Comments ·


In my previous post, I wrote about how to do a proper push up. I have this additional tip worth mentioning – pausing at the halfway when you do push up.

The movement is still the same. The only difference is that you hold for a second when you lower yourself. Continue lower your chest and then hold for another second. When you push back up to the halfway point, you pause for another second before going back to the start position.  As usual, aim for 8 to 12 repetitions each set and do 2 to 3 sets.

If it is too hard, do it on your knees instead of toes.

If you still find it easy, instead of holding for 1 second, hold longer, say 2 to 3 seconds.

Yes, it is a torture workout. But by holding, you are strengthening your muscles at the chest and also the arms. In fact, not only push ups, other weight lifting exercise, even with body weight, many are cheating with momentum. Also, by holding, you will slow down the entire movement and concentrate on better form.



Category: Chest

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3 responses so far ↓
  • Yin Teing // Nov 23, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    Good post, Mun. Yes, I do agree, I read a book by a researcher (who spent over 20 years doing research on strength training) that mentioned we should hold for each weight lifting exercise- they say ideally 4 seconds when we lift and another 4 when we lower the weight. After that, I’ve been doing that- and it’s real tough, and I have to reduce the weight that I could lift because of using the slow movement. But I must say but more effective. With the torture method, we get more by doing less.

  • Tomgreenwald // Dec 3, 2009 at 3:21 AM

    Good advice. As I always say that you can’t measure ones fitness level by max repetitions he/she can do. The Quality and time put in are the main indicators. Doing 10 slow and controlled repetitions with a good form will give more results than performing 30 quick repetitions while sacrificing exercise form.

    However if you want to get a well-rounded workout you should vary your hand placement. My personal opinion is that there’s no need to perform 3 or 5 sets of the same exercise. I would make slight changes for each set. For example: first set – close grip push-up or diamond push-up, second set – regular push-up, third set – wide grip push-up.

    Even slight changes in your hand placement can be enough to make the exercise more challenging. If you still want to perform only one push-up exercise, nothing can beat hindu and divebomber push-ups. These push-up variations not only train chest, triceps and abs, but also incorporate front, side deltoids and lower back.

    Sometimes when I want to squeeze in a short chest workout I do only one set of 30 reps, but change my hand placement after every five repetitions.


  • elizabeth ashe // Dec 14, 2009 at 7:28 AM

    I like the technique, I tend to do a lot of push ups in my workout routine. The short isometric holds can go a long especially if you are trying to push pass a workout plateau.

    Great info, looking forward to more.

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