October
5

Advanced Push Up Techniques to Improve Your Strength

I don’t know about you but the push up is the first exercise I can remember doing as kid. They are also one of my favorite upper body exercises for mountain biking and I have some variation of them in almost every program I write today. However, most people just scratch the surface with the strength building potential of this exercise.

Strength is not about doing more reps, it is about your ability to generate more tension with a movement. With the push up one of the most common ways to do this is to add a weight vest but there are other “natural” techniques to increasing tension that you can use without any special equipment.

In this video I go over these advanced techniques that you can use to get more out of each push up rep.

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  1. Jess says:

    James — First, as a (fairly scrawny) woman, I appreciate your blog. Strength/power are just as important to lady mountain bikers, and personally, I have to work a little harder for it. I have committed to improving my strength, and as such, I have a question for you. I am able to maintain good form in a toe pushup for about 5-8 reps & knee pushups for 20-30. I am interested in using pushups to improve my core strength. For the best core workout, am I better off doing lower reps pushups from my toes (w/good form) or more reps from my knees?

    Reply • October 5 at 1:33 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Really glad that you are enjoying the blog and benfitting from the info. Women riders do a have lot to gain from strength training since upper body strength is so important on the trail. If you want to build core and upper body strength through push ups you are better off using these techniques for low reps.

      Reply • October 8 at 6:31 am
  2. Rick Boatman says:

    James,

    Any chance you could add upcoming info to your G+ account?

    Rick~

    Reply • September 10 at 2:00 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Yeah, I try to keep up with it but sometimes get behind on it.

      Reply • September 11 at 12:12 pm
  3. john says:

    Hey James

    What direction should you screw you palm into the ground? in the video it looked like the elbows were turned into the body.

    Reply • September 10 at 3:15 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      You will end up screwing the elbows into the body. If you don’t have the lats strong first then the elbows will actually move but if you have the lats strong the elbows will “screw” but not actually move much.

      Reply • September 11 at 12:12 pm
  4. Walt says:

    Screw the arms into the ground? As in twist them? Which way are you screwing ? Towards the centerline of the body or away from the body?

    Reply • September 10 at 11:30 pm
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      You will end up screwing the elbows into the body. If you don’t have the lats strong first then the elbows will actually move but if you have the lats strong the elbows will “screw” but not actually move much.

      Reply • September 11 at 12:12 pm
  5. Blake MacMillan says:

    Great video! I have been trying to progress my pushup too. I found this video helpful: https://youtu.be/0dU0E_4dC48

    The main difference between your video and the one above is keeping the lumbar region flexed rather than extended.

    Reply • December 4 at 7:16 am
  6. Collin says:

    Hey James, great video. I really like your concept of making movements like this more effective, especially as it applies to MTB!

    Reply • December 5 at 4:07 pm

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson