Body Weight Push Up Dynamics

Lots of studies have been performed on muscle activation using various styles of push ups. Now a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tells us that you're supporting less body weight in the 'up' position than when down, with your chest just an inch or so off the floor. That's true whether you're performing traditional push ups or the variation you see little kids practicing using their knees as the rear point of floor contact instead of the toes. Funny thing is the percent change in body mass supported from the up to down position was greater for knee push ups.

True Strength Moment: While the physics behind this popular body weight exercise is interesting, the results indicate that everyone has something to gain from doing them. Kids and exercise newbies can practice the knee to floor variation until they're strong enough to do regular push ups. More experienced individuals can elevate their feet on a stable surface to increase the level of difficulty. There are many variations to experiment with, and you can perform this exercise anywhere.
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