How to Make Pushups Better (INSTANT PUMP!)

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Likely, you have done plenty of pushups in an effort to try and build your chest. It is the classic bodyweight chest exercise after all. That said, there are some major limitations to the exercise that can be greatly overcome by making a few key changes to how you perform them. In this video, I’m going to show you a pushup variation that makes pushups better. It is something that anybody is going to be able to do and more importantly, feel in their very next set.

To start, it helps to understand a bit of the natural pressing mechanics that are in place during a bench press. Your arms should never move in a straight line as you press the bar over your chest. Instead, you want to try and press up and back in an arc pattern if you want to follow the natural pressing arc that your body’s biomechanics dictates. You can see this same movement pattern built into the hammer bench press machine as well, and it’s there for a reason.

You might think however that you cannot replicate this when doing pushups because your hands are fixed on the ground and you can’t follow an arc created by a machine that was designed to do this. Yes you can. You have to change your mindset though. Instead of thinking how your hands are going to move on a moveable machine you have to think how you are going to move your body on a set of fixed hands. It is possible and getting it right will provide you with the most effective pushup you have ever tried.

Start by placing your hands on the ground with your thumbs at the bottom of your chest line. Your body should be flat against the ground. From here, flare your elbows out to the side without moving your hands. This should allow your elbows to drift away from your torso to about 30 or 45 degrees. At this point you are ready to perform the pushup.

That said, don’t jump into anything because as you will quickly see, it is not just doing the pushup that is going to make this effective it is doing it in a very specific way. You don’t want to push your hands straight down into the ground and press your body off of it. Instead, you want to think about squeezing or pinching your body off the ground by driving your biceps towards each other. The entire lift of the body off the ground should be done by pinching under the body and getting those arms to drive towards each other.

This provides the adduction feel that is helpful for eliciting an incredibly strong chest contraction. It also takes some of the load off of the shoulders and triceps. These two muscles tend to dominate the pushup and can quickly prevent the chest from getting the work that it should get from the movement. As you squeeze up you want to do one more thing. Rock backwards on your toes so that when you are at the top of the pushup your body is further back than when it started.

You should feel the contraction shift more towards the upper pecs and chest if you do this right. This is because you have essentially done a horizontal incline press. Squeeze as hard as you can and lower yourself back to the ground by sliding your body forward again (rocking on the toes to get there) until your hands are once again positioned at the bottom of your chest. Keep repping out until you reach failure. You will notice that you are able to do far fewer reps than a normal pushup but that does not matter. The key is getting more from the exercise and getting bigger pecs because you are doing it right.

If you ever thought that chest exercises and pushups alone were enough to build a bigger chest you likely haven’t gotten the best results you are capable of. It is how you perform the exercise, and every other movement for that matter, that makes all the difference in the gains that you see. If you want to get the most out of every chest exercise, head to and start training like an athlete with our programs.

For more videos on chest exercises and how to do pushups for a big chest, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

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