The First Push-Up Program from Beyond the Whiteboard is part of the Varied Not Random series, curated by CrossFit coaching legends Pat Sherwood and Adrian Bozman. Across 20 training sessions, this cycle will help athletes learn proper full-body form for this quintessential pressing movement; a prerequisite for many other functional fitness movements and programs.
The digital program is catered to each individual athlete, beginning with a test of the individual’s starting ability so as to gauge their progress over the ensuing weeks. Each session, you’ll complete a warm-up and 2-3 functional fitness skills and drills to focus on and develop upper body pressing strength and core strength. This will include hollow body position and plank work, practice dumbbell pressing, complete modified push-ups, and static holds, as well as time under tension in order to train the shoulders and core to complete the movement. Athletes will also be introduced to tempos, negatives and shoulder blade mechanics to round out their training. Tutorials from Pat and Boz will help you to maintain proper technique and form along the way.
The First Push-Up Program is self-paced, meaning it can supplement a current fitness routine or become a strict focus. BTWB recommends completing 2-3 sessions per week to complete the program within a range of 6-10 weeks. This recommendation is based on achieving the sweet spot of exposing your muscles to the stimuli while ensuring the right amount of recovery.
AM I READY?
In a word, YES. This movement is a basic, foundational gymnastics and functional fitness movement. There are no prerequisites to start this program. It’s a great fit for anybody looking to learn how to do a proper push-up or to simply improve their form. It’s critical to master a push-up before advancing to more intense movements, like the Strict Handstand Push-up and the Strict Ring Dip. Start here so you can get there.
10 PVC Pass Throughs
20 Scap Push-ups
Plank Hold, 20 secs
10 Shoulder Taps
Pause Dumbbell Bench Press, 4 x 10
The dumbbell bench press will help you develop the pressing strength needed for a push-up. These are doable even if a regular push-up is not. Think of them as an upside down push-up! Go as heavy as you can here, but keep things quick on the ascent, and smooth/controlled on the descent. Add a 3 sec pause at the bottom of each rep.
The key here will be to mimic the push-up technique. Keep your elbows tucked in at the bottom of each rep, and press up without your elbows bowing out and away from your bottom. Descend from the top of the rep by leading with your elbows first. This will ensure the dumbbells touch near your sternum rather than high on your chest.
Hollow Hold, 3 x 30sec
You'll be strongest in your push-up when your core remains rigid. The moment it "breaks" (i.e. your hips rise first, or your chest rises first) the harder the push-up becomes. Hollow holds will help you to develop the core strength necessary to stay rigid during a push-up.
Keep your toes pointed, your quads and glutes squeezed, and your rib cage tucked down. If needed, scale down to a tuck hold.