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Push-ups heavier from a raised platform

The load on your pecs, delts and triceps is 9 to 15 percent heavier if you place your feet on a raised platform to do your push ups, write sports scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside soon in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Push-ups are the most popular exercise on earth for building upper body strength. But most strength athletes sooner or later give up on the push-ups and go over to bench presses and flies because they find that their muscles are no longer stimulated by push-ups.

However, push-ups train parts of your upper body that are easily neglected if you only do weight training, so some trainers insist that their athletes keep push-ups in their training sessions. But then in such a way that they build muscle strength.

A classic way of making a push-up heavier is to place your feet on a raised surface. If you are not strong enough to do a regular push-up, you can place your hands on a raised surface. In the study we are referring to here, the researchers wanted to measure how much heavier or lighter a push-up is when done from a raised surface. They used plateaus about 30 and 60 cm high.

The researchers measured the 'ground reaction force' [GRF] during the execution of the push up. That's the force that the ground exercises on the body during the movement.

When the test subjects placed their feet on a 30-cm-high plateau, the maximal GRF was 9 percent higher than when the push-ups were done on a flat surface. When the subjects put their feet on a plateau 60 cm above the ground, the GRF was 15 percent higher.

Push-ups heavier from a raised platform

Push-ups heavier from a raised platform

How to calculate
The table above shows how to calculate the number of kgs you shift when doing elevated push-ups, according to your bodyweight.

J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Oct;25(10):2891-4.

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