How to get better at pushups
For many of the women I train, pushups are their worst enemy. They are not shy about letting you know their dislike of them either. Just trust me on that one. The main reason people don't like pushups is the same reason I don't like fixing things. I'm not very good at it.
But they are one of the best exercises you can do for your entire body. Therefor, we do a lot of pushups in my boot camps. I often get asked about how to be able to do more pushups or move from doing pushups on the knees to pushups on toes.
I present to you the Grease the Groove technique. Terrible title, effective method. We will use it for pushups, but you can apply it to any exercise you want to get better at. Pullups, presses, burpees, etc... it will help you get better at all of them.
I learned the Grease the Groove (or what the cool kids call GTG) technique from a former Soviet Special Forces trainer named Pavel Tsatsouline. He had the revolutionary idea that if you want to get better at something, you should probably practice it. Weird huh? Here is the equation he came up with:
Specificity + frequent practice = success
So here is how to be able to do more pushups. First you need to know what the maximum number of pushups you can do is. For this example we will use 10 pushups. Several times a day you would drop down and knock out 4 pushups there, 5 pushups here. All throughout the day, but the key is to never get to the point where it is a struggle to do the pushups. You want to train as often as possible throughout the day, while still being as fresh as possible.
How about changing from knees to toes? You can still use the GTG method, but with a twist for the knee pushups. Because knee pushups do not properly mimic the toe pushups, you need to try something different. Switch from knee pushups to doing pushups at an angle. You could use a bench, a wall, etc... to practice your pushups. You can start at a 45 degree angle and start working your way down from there. Apply the same GTG technique with the angled pushups.
The basic premise is that you are strengthening the neural pathways through something called synaptic facilitation. Remember that, it might be on Final Jeopardy one day.
Big words aside, this is a straight forward and effective way to get better at something. Pick out an exercise you are weak in, apply the GTG for 6 weeks, and I bet you will get great results. After you set a new personal record, drop me a line and let me know!
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