Ramp Up Your Push Up Intensity

Ramp Up Your Push Up Intensity Like most exercises, there are little things you can do to get even more out of the good old fashioned push up. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the characteristics of regular push ups, flex kneed push ups, push ups with feet elevated 12 inches and 24 inches, and finally push ups with hands elevated 12 inches.

Using 23 recreationally active volunteers, each subject performed the 5 push up variations in a randomized order. Scientists found that push ups performed with feet elevated produced the highest ground reaction forces (GRF). When hands were elevated or knees flexed, subjects experienced the lowest GRF, which is a measure of exercise intensity. There were no differences between males and females.

True Strength Moment: If you're just getting back into fitness, trying the easier variations of push ups might be okay to start off with. Those who've been at it a while and are looking for ways to ramp up the intensity of their routine should try the elevated feet variations using stadium stairs or some other sturdy platform. Then give old school 6-count squat thrusts (aka: burpees) a try. Remember to jump as high as possible on the movement back to standing and clap your hands at the top of the push-up.
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