Plyometric Push Ups

As if performing proper push ups was not difficult enough, as you get stronger, you can add in even more punishment by making your push ups plyometric! Adding an explosive element to your push ups is a great way to add power and speed, as well as carve an impressive chest and shoulders.

Most people think of clap push ups when plyometric push ups are mentioned, but really, there are more variations than just clapping.

This article is all about plyometric push ups: how to do them properly, and several variations to keep your workouts interesting.

What Are Plyometric Push Ups?

Simply put, plyometric push ups are performed when part, or all of your body gets airborn at the top end of the motion.

You will use your chest, shoulders, and arms to explosively propel your body into the air, and then land safely, and repeat.

The landing safely part is very important! You want to make sure to keep a comfortable bend in your elbows so that you are able to repeat the motion as quickly and smoothly as possible. DO NOT land with locked elbows!

That is a good way to book a trip to the emergency room!

Plyometric Push Up Variations

We will be looking at four variations of the plyometric push up. They can be divided into beginner, intermediate 1, intermediate 2, and advanced levels. If you’ve never tried them before, start at the beginner level for a few weeks to get your body used to the impact of this type of training.

Beginner Plyometric Push Up

Begin kneeling on both knees. Keep your torso straight up, and ge your hands ready.

Now fall forward into a push up position and launch yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. Stay on the ground for as short a time as possible! You want to spring off of the ground quickly.

Intermediate Level Plyometric Push Ups

Level 1: At level one, we have the traditional clap push up. As mentioned earlier, this is probably the most often thought of variation.

To do it, get in a standard push up position. Perform the push up as normal, then at the top of the movement, when you arms are nearing extension, explode off of the ground so that your hands are in the air.

While in the air, bring your hands together in a clap.

This variation will require you to exert maximal force all the way from the bottom of the push up in order for your hands to get air.

Level 2: For level 2, you will need either two steps, or two boxes. You can really use anything as long as they are equally tall (about 4-6 inches off the ground) and sturdy enough to handle your bodyweight (In college, I used text books).

Place them slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Get in a push up position with your hands on the steps. Perform the push up, launching yourself in the air.

When you land, you will do so with both hands on the ground in the middle of the steps. Now do another push up, again launching into the air, and this time returning your hands to the steps.

Alternate in this manner until you complete your set.

Advanced Level Plyometric Push Ups

This is where things get fun! The advanced level of plyometric push ups are performed the same way as the clap push up, with one killer exception—you will be launching your entire body into the air.

Yep, hands, feet, and torso are all going to get airborn. Sounds simple right?

Actually it is, it’s just not easy! It takes not only a lot of strength, but also a tremendous amount of coordination.

Whatever your level of fitness is right now, there is a plyometric push up for you. Start integrating them into your routine and seeing explosive results today!

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