Push-ups… yes you should do them!

Push-ups are one of those exercises that most people do… or at least try to do… if they are in any sort of basic fitness program at all. This is a good thing because push-ups are pretty much awesome for you… when performed properly. Here’s what makes them so awesome.

  • Trains Scapular Movement
    • Retraction at bottom (scaps come together)
    • Protraction at top (scaps separate)
      • Note: they also are a great tool for identifying weakness and immobility in the shoulder
  • Trains Core Strength
    • Requires core strength to prevent “sagging” your back
      • Note: they also helps identify a weak core
  • Strengthens Rotator Cuff, Chest, Shoulders
    • When performed properly it helps to strengthen the whole shoulder girdle
      • Note: if not performed properly they can injure your shoulder


In my very first sentence of this post I mentioned that pushups are done in most “basic” fitness programs. However, as strength training is becoming more and more of a “thing” and people are getting strong AF all over the place, sometimes the “basic” pushup isn’t utilized as much as it should be in more advance programming. I mean how often are you seeing your friends posting Instagram posts of them putting their chest to the deck? If pushups are easy for you, they are still a vital tool to program regularly. They are great to perform in warmups as well as adding in tempo work and isometric positional work to ensure strong position and stable shoulders.

Here’s my progression for pushups.

Straight Arm Plank: Perform for 1 minute with perfect mechanics before advancing.

Scap Push-up: Perform 10 with perfect mechanics before advancing to Elevated Pushups.

Elevated Push-up: Perform 5 with perfect mechanics before advancing to Push-ups.

Push-Up: Perform with perfect mechanics. Ultimately looking for sets of 15-20.

Once you establish proficiency in the push-up there are several variations where you get to start making it more interesting. But, remember that the basics are always the most important and should be performed on a regular basis, no matter what level you’re at.

Now, go start pushing (with complimentary horizontal pulling… next week’s post).

2 thoughts on “Push-ups… yes you should do them!

  1. Love it JLabawesome! Looks just like how we build the horizontal pushing strength at Behemoth, except the scap push-ups is a nice addition! Love the “standards” that must be hit BEFORE advancing to the next movement. Keep up the good work.

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