Directions: Perform my
exercises at “beginning” of workout for maximum benefit and improvement.
Pick a safe level; never be unsafe or exceed your capacity to “control” your
Start in Military Plank Position
Slowly lower knees &
torso to ground
Lift feet off floor
Use Knee Push Up technique to
push upper body off ground
Bring knees back up &
return to Military plank position
Begin in standard Military Push Up
position with feet shoulder width apart and hands under shoulders.
Body should be in straight line "plank"
position from heels to shoulders.
Lower body while maintaining plank
posture until chest is close to ground.
At bottom floor position, push back up
in the Knee Push Up.
Once in extended Knee Push Up position,
straighten whole body back into a full plank or "Military" Push Up position.
Keep core braced and strong as you lift
to preserve plank position and take excessive pressure off low back.
Lower whole body in plank or "Military"
position as you repeat.
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
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
Push Up. For less challenge, try the
Wall Push Up,
or view my Push Up
Section for more options.
This exercise is intended for "normal healthy"
If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical
therapist before continuing your exercises.
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