Ron Jones Logo

Contact RJ

Ron Jones Bio
Coach & Train
Exercise Library
Health & Fitness
Products by RJ
Site Map

RJ Foot Fitness Logo

TheLeanBerets.Com "Avengers of Health!"

Coach RJ Blog

"Negative" Push-Up

Directions: Perform my Dynamic Warm-Up exercises at “beginning” of workout for maximum benefit and improvement.
Pick a safe level; never be unsafe or exceed your capacity to “control” your body!

Negative Push Up-1
Start in Military Plank Position

Negative Push Up-2
Slowly lower knees &  torso to ground

Negative Push Up-3
Lift feet off floor

Negative Push Up-4
Use Knee Push Up technique to push upper body off ground

Negative Push Up-5
Bring knees back up & return to Military plank position

  1. Begin in standard Military Push Up position with feet shoulder width apart and hands under shoulders.

  2. Body should be in straight line "plank" position from heels to shoulders.

  3. Lower body while maintaining plank posture until chest is close to ground.

  4. At bottom floor position, push back up in the Knee Push Up.

  5. Once in extended Knee Push Up position, straighten whole body back into a full plank or "Military" Push Up position.

  6. Keep core braced and strong as you lift to preserve plank position and take excessive pressure off low back.

  7. Lower whole body in plank or "Military" position as you repeat.

Exercise Figure Tips: Push ups are usually thought of as "arms and chest" exercises, but they are underrated as "core" exercises. To perform a "proper" Military Push Up, you need to have a strong core to keep the plank position.  People with weak cores doing push ups will shift their butts back (to unload core) or sag their hips (core is not strong enough to lift and keep body in plank position). There are not many exercises more functional and beneficial than the old school military push-up, but very few people can do them correctly due to weak cores; hence, the modified "Negative" shown above can be a great option.

  • This was actually the push up version that West Point Military Academy used for women when they first started attending so the women could pass the push up test.  When the women first arrived, they were not as strong as the men in terms of fitness testing.  By using the "Negative" Push Up technique that works both the concentric contraction (pushing up off floor in modified knee position) and the eccentric contraction (lowering whole body in full plank position), the women gained the needed strength to successfully pass the tests.  Working the eccentric part of muscle contractions actually facilitate more strength gains than the concentric.  The negative technique was also applied with the West Point women for performing pull ups by using a box to step up and into the "chin up" position then lowering their body with control.  

  • Power lifters also use the negative technique in the gym for getting over plateaus or sticking spots in their lifts.  Negatives are a great way to increase your strength efficiently! 

  • Negative Push Ups not right for you?  For more challenge, try the regular Military Push Up.  For less challenge, try the Knee Push Up, Wall Push Up, or view my Push Up Section for more options.

*Note: This exercise is intended for "normal healthy" individuals.  
If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

 RonJones.Org | Back to BodyXercise Library | Site Map

(Updated 11.28.07)

                      Get Fit.  Be Strong.
Corporate Wellness · Consulting · Health Promotion