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A1C Evans 11-26-2009 04:11 AM

Progressions for bodyweight exercise
Hi everyone, Greg got me thinking about something in his last post. High rep training is good but eventually you need to move on to harder variations. The T's are one way to make pushups a lot harder. Ive often wondered the value of one arm and one leg exercises. Clearly they make it harder but what are some ways to progress in difficulty without using just one limb?

ill start to get the ball rolling, ill start with the pushup
Knee pushups
regular military pushups
feet elevated military pushups
atlas pushups
atlas II
atlas III
pike pushup
handstand pushup
then go through these again with T's

This isnt a difinitive list just a way of illustrating what im getting at.

JoeJustice 11-26-2009 06:40 AM

I still can't do a handstand push-up! Drives me crazy. I can get down 2/3 for reps, but I can't get my head to touch the ground and then get back up a single time. :excruciating:

I like the progressions, but I think you can start with the T's once you get the Atlas IIs pretty well down. There's some good overlap in doing different push-ups in the same workout, methinks.


A1C Evans 11-26-2009 06:58 AM

yes, doing different variations in the same workout is a good idea. What about the lower body? how can you make them stronger without doing one leg exercises? Hindu squats are a good start but where do you go from there? Step ups maybe, lunges, split squats, sissy squats, not sure. Pushups seem more straight forward to me.

Scott Silva 11-26-2009 07:42 AM

In his book "Never Gymless" Ross Enamait has a comprehensive list of exercises for upper & lower body, conditioning & core. Among some of them would be long jumps, lunge jumps, squat jumps.

But my personal favorite as far as strengthening exercises for the legs (without getting into the 1-legged variety) would be car pushing, hands down!

Although not being an exclusively "bodyweight" exercise, car pushing is a much more natural kind of movement. Of course, for safety sake, you will need a partner to steer the car and a nice empty parking lot to push about in.

Also, think Herschel Walker, sprinting, pulling around tractor tires...

And, Joe, when you get regular handstand push-ups down there is this variation!

A1C Evans 11-27-2009 05:03 AM

hey wackybaby, car pushing is brutal, ive never done it as a workout but ive done it when my friend got stuck in the snow! However, in most situations i find it impractical. How about other excises you can just do with your body? :) Different jumping variations certainly add intensity but what can you do without going to one leg or adding weight? I guess you can also manipulate rest time, shorter rest and more reps in less time. Step back lunges are a good move for the legs and can be combined with a knee raise at the top of the movement to work the hip flexors more.

Viking Dan 11-27-2009 11:16 AM

For a particularly brutal workout, make sure the parking brake is engaged. :silly:

tom 11-27-2009 11:44 AM

Joe, if you are ready for it, this might kick you over the top. Or, maybe you do it already. When you have your head on the ground, tighten your stomach, back, quads, glutes, lats, everything. I named the big muscles because we're familiar with them. However, the idea is to tense every single muscle in your body, not just the obvious handstand ones. Even grab the ground, palm it as tight as you can (imagine you can).

Once everything is tight to the nth degree, push up. Along with the stomach tensing, momentarily hold your breath as you make the effort. This is a single rep attempt, done only as long as it takes to make one giant effort.

You may have to go over it in your mind before getting into position - that's a lot of things to think about. But don't think about pushing up. Think about making everything as hard as steel.

Often times, people are ready strengthwise, but the body just doesn't have the feel of it.

Good luck,

Andy62 11-27-2009 12:41 PM

Isometrics are always an option.

Scott Silva 11-27-2009 09:41 PM

Viking Dan, that's called adding resistance. :smile-big:

Ross' "Underground Guide" had a leg workout in it that always fried my legs when I did it.

It was:

Bodyweight squats x 20
Lunges x 20
Semi squat Jumps x 20 (1/4 jumping squats, not all the way down)
Calf Raises x 50

Rest 30 seconds - repeat 3 times

Next pay!
Of course, that's in a ... "good way".

Viking Dan 11-27-2009 10:00 PM

Another fun one is do hindu squats to failure than move to the wall sit. Or do that leg MILO that Liederman espoused.

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