Exercise of the Week: Eccentric Push Ups

Hopefully you saw last week’s post on Barbell Pause Squats as the exercises of the week, if not you can check that out here.

This week I’m highlighting an exercise that is great for beginners and those who are more advanced: Eccentric Push Ups (to a pad).

To perform this exercise:

  • Begin in a plank position with your hands on the outside of a pad or pillow so they are slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Slightly round your upper back and ensure that your lower back is not arched.
  • Slowly begin to lower you body, as a unit, to the pad. Noting that you are trying to land “splat”, not like a worm.
  • Drop your knees to the floor and return to the beginning plank position.

Muscles involved in this exercise:

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Core
  • Triceps

Essentially, we are just doing half of a push up – the lowering down/ eccentric part.

Why this exercise is great for beginners: It will help you work up to doing your first regular push up. Focusing on the eccentric portion will build a lot of strength in your upper body and core that will transfer to regular push ups.

What’s great about these for more advanced lifters is that you can do them with a weight plate on your back to increase difficulty (I recommend grabbing a partner to remove the weight when you’re pushing back up).

Tag me @hellostrength1 if you give this a try!

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