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The World’s Most Underrated Exercise?

Kicking off a series of posts regarding bodyweight training and No Equipment, No Excuses exercise, we’re taking the obvious starting point. The Push Up.

The push up is as old as the hills, I’m sure that there’s not a person reading this that hasn’t at some point done at least one push up. It is so well known that it is almost ignored, and that is a real shame.

Push Ups are a cornerstone at Wild Geese and should form an essential part of everybody’s training. Done correctly they are not just a chest exercise for developing the pecs, but also a great drill for building strength and stability in the shoulders and core. In fact most people I’ve come across that struggle with the push up do so as a result of a weak/imbalanced core and poor shoulder integrity. Learning and practising the proper push which is demonstrated below is a self correcting exercise if practised consciously. And by consciously I mean being aware of the constant stream of information being fed back to you from your body. Information like:

  1. My shoulders are shrugging up

  2. I’m unable to maintain neutral spine

  3. My head is sagging

  4. My lumbar is collapsing.

Being aware of these issues allows us to correct them by concentrating on keeping the form good. You must stop as soon as good form can no longer be maintained.

Take your time with the push up, lower under control lift up with vigour but never rush. Here’s a video demonstration:


If you have the basic push up down, you maybe looking for a greater challenge. This variation is called the Spiderman Push up, the reasoning will become clear as you watch the clip:


Don’t be tempted with all the marketing and gimmickry that late night infomercials try to sell with regards to the simple push up. You have no need for handles, rotating or otherwise. If the wrists get sore, switch to doing them on your fists, if you want more resistance, throw on a backpack.

I’ll be back with more No Equipment training soon, until then have a play with the two variations shown here, and never forget, Quality come before Quantity.

Regards Dave Hedges

PS: Steve Cotter is at Wild Geese teaching his system of Bodyweight Training on Saturday 16th July (€299 for the day). He’ll be showing kettlebell training on the Sunday (€399 for both days).

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