Mr. Push Up, I’d Like You to Meet Mr. Ground

So, lets be real honest with ourselves here. Ninety-nine percent of push-ups that we see out there just aren’t push-ups. Go into your local neighborhood gym or city park, and have a look around. You’ll see short reps happening all over. I am of the view that training this way is a complete waste of time.

Let’s reel this back a bit to the basics of a push-up for a moment. This exercise was not invented in a gym. It is a natural human movement to elevate the body off the Earth. The funny thing about this is the most basic part of this movement involves the floor. It’s the alpha and the omega of a full repetition, and probably the single most avoided part of the push-up. Now, what the hell kind of sense does that make? I definitely have no defense of that thing that somehow has sufficed for many, as a push-up. Heck, it may as well be a saggy plank. I am not sure what the role of a saggy plank is in increasing your fitness, but I promise the push-up will get you much further.

If you are doing push-ups you seem to be interested in increasing your fitness. It would seem to me that full range of motion, and things such as external rotation and hollow position would be paramount in this endeavor. Yet, all these humans are out there continuing to get better at saggy planks.

All of us share in the need to move our bodies. If you were to fall to the ground ten times, how many of those times would your fall end in a saggy plank? Exactly! The earth is where you will be, and if you can’t do a push-up, that is on you. Why not train a movement that you will almost be guaranteed to use in your lifetime.

Those perfectly capable of doing a correct push-up doing not-quite-push-ups are leaving a lot on the table. There are a slew of faults involved here, but I am not writing to give a dissertation on the perfect push-up. The only point I want to highlight is the touching of your chest on the floor. C’mon your thighs/belly/knees are clearly not your chest. I would much rather see an athlete do seven solid push-ups alllllll the way to the floor, and allllll the way to lockout of the elbows, than a hundred wobbly planks. We all share one goal, to get better. Let’s bring a little integrity to our training. After all, it is your body.

Your move!


Danny Lesslie

8/13/13 WOD

Split Jerk

6 Burpees
50’ Object Carry
6 Jump Squats
50’ Object Carry