Want to improve your upper body power? Chest day stuck in a rut? Haven't hit a new PR in a while? Well, it might be time to change up your pushs-ups and add a little power component - a la the PLYOMETRIC PUSH UP. Begin with a small flight phase of the movement- and slowly work your way up as you develop the motor control and strength to do so.
This exercise is great and appropriate in a return to sport phase of rehab or simply for (P)Rehab and strength and conditioning purposes. Some things to keep in mind:
- MINIMIZE CONTACT TIME with the ground. The moment you hit the ground, explode up as fast as possible. The whole goal is to add demand and load to the eccentric portion of the push up (when you hit the ground) and work on EXPLODING out of the "hole".
- Land SOFTLY with a completely STABILIZED scapula and shoulder. If you find yourself landing with your scapula retracted or your elbow bent, it means the height is probably too tall or you're getting fatigued. Although this exercise is meant to work on explosive strength, you can also work on scapular and shoulder stabilization on the landing on the boxes as well. Try to minimizing the sound while landing!
According to Maenhout et al. 2016, this exercise increases serratus anterior activity in the backward push off phase GREATER than the landing phase. This is a great exercise for athletes in AND returning to sport athletes.
Tag someone that needs some more up body power!
Article: Scapular muscle activity in a variety of plyometric exercises. By: Maenhout. 2016.