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Better Push-ups for Young Athletes


Here is an incredibly easy way to get more push-up volume into your programs for your large groups. It utilizes an elastic band and a flat bench that is turned upside down. We always incorporate lots of push-ups into the program because they form one of our fundamental movement patterns in our CPPS curriculum.

It is important from a “grooving” and patterning perspective to slowly introduce more volume for repetitive patterns – in this case horizontal pushing – for young athletes and clients with a low training age before progression can occur.

The problem is when they are new (and weak) to strength training they are neurologically inefficient and the muscle action for the pattern is expressed according to their ability to sequence the engaged muscle groups efficiently – while trying to brace, breathe, stabilize, control the pattern, etc.

This can take some time in the gym and consistency until they are able to perform the movement well. As they are developing and improving, band-assistance can be added to “assist” younger athletes with performing the pattern correctly, even as fatigue sets in.

The Setup

A flat bench is turned upside down and an elastic band is double stretched (over and back) across the base supports. The athlete will perform as many bodyweight push-ups as possible (with good form) and then immediately drop into the band-assisted push-ups for as many good reps (AMRAP) as possible. I love this dropset immediately after heavy barbell bench press or dumbbell bench press.

Here is the circuit in the video:

1A] Seated Rows, 4-5 sets x 10 reps
1B] Push-ups (weighted if possible), 4-5 sets x 10 reps
1C] Band-Assisted Push-ups, 4-5 sets x AMRAP

By on April 3rd, 2017

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