A regular pushup is a classic bodyweight exercise that challenges the body in all ways possible. However, when you master the art of regular pushup, there is no need for you to abandon the pushup styles for other complex exercises. You can impede the push up with different position of hands, varying angles, and unstable surfaces.
This will allow you to gain all the benefits that regular push-up has to offer but will challenge your muscles in a different way than normal. Though the gain available for such push up variations will still be visible and you can then see the power of pushups.
One such powerful variation of the standard push up is a push up with a clap. Clapping push up requires the maximum amount of speed and explosive power. Not everyone will be able to pull off this difficult move, but they are worth practicing and trying out. And if, only if you are able to do this killer move perfectly, you will have a killer chest burn by engaging extra muscles.
To attempt this exercise successfully, one needs to focus on developing speed and coordination. It is also commonly known that this exercise helps you to improve your punching abilities and build immense upper body strength.
Clapping push-up is a plyometric push up that builds explosive strength in your upper body. It uses and targets the twitch muscles, which are responsible for developing a short burst of power.
It is important to do this exercise as explosively as possible, so as to recruit the twitch muscles fibers and to develop power.
This exercise can be extremely useful for athletes who require a lot of upper body power, such as baseball and volleyball players. These players can use this exercise to improve their overall sports performance.
In this post, we will discuss the technique involved in perfecting the clapping pushup style, the muscles group that this exercise works on, the benefits of it, the breathing pattern involved, ways in which you can increase the intensity of the exercise, and how you can modify it to match your fitness.
How to Master the Art of Clapping Pushup?
Before going ahead and discuss the technique involved in this exercise, let us spend a moment understanding the body positioning.
1. Start in the position as you do for the regular pushup style. This position is often referred to as the high plank position.
2. Now place your hands slightly wider than the shoulder width apart and your feet should be closer than the shoulder width.
3. If the feet are too wide, you risk using the strength from your feet to push the body back to the starting position. Ultimately reducing the stress on your chest. And if you remember, putting stress on your chest is the ultimate goal of doing a pushup.
4. Now contract the ab muscles and utilize your core strength, so that the torso and thighs are in a straight line. This should be your starting position.
Clapping Pushup Technique
Once you have attained the right body form and positioning, next comes the technique to execute a perfect set of clapping pushup. Following is the step by step guide that explains each step in detail.
1. From the starting position, lower yourself down towards the floor slowly by bending your elbows outwards.
2. Once you feel that the elbows are positioned at a 90-degree angle, explosively push yourself high up in the air, so that your hands are no longer touching the floor.
3. While the moment, when your upper body is high in the air and no longer in touch with the floor, clap your hands.
4. The moment your hands fall down back on the floor, lower your body down again and perform the next repetition.
5. This set of step completes one repetition. Perform as many repetitions as possible, but try not to force the issue. Remember, less number of reps with correct form is more important than a large number of reps with incorrect form.
Breathing Pattern Involved in Clapping Pushup
As in regular pushup, breathe in as you lower your body down towards the floor and breathe out as you push back to the starting position. You can check out the other post on regular pushup, which explains the importance of breathing in details, and how it helps at the time of pushup execution.
Are Clapping Pushup Bad For You?
Pushup that requires explosive movements of the body, puts a lot of stress on your body joints. However, this doesn’t mean that they are bad for you and something that you should not attempt. Though you need to prepare yourself for it. Before starting any fitness workout, always remember to warm up your shoulder and wrists joints, so that you do not injure yourself. Clapping pushup is not a beginner’s exercise. You need to have a lot of strength and experience before you try to attempt it.
Benefits of Clapping Pushup
Clapping pushup is an explosive variation of regular pushup that puts a lot of power and strength in your pectorals major, chest, shoulders, and triceps. It also enhances the abilities of the muscles at the back of your arm. Increasing the strength in this muscle group helps the basketball players to throw the chest passes with force.
It also increases their throwing speed and distance of the ball. For volleyball athletes, they can also strike the ball with absolute power. For wrestlers and boxers, it enhances their punching abilities. Add this exercise to your routine, and attain great upper body strength in the process.
Ways to Modify Clapping Pushup
If the clapping pushup is too difficult to execute initially, you can start by getting on the knee position. You can also build yourself up towards the clapping pushup, by performing one hand plyometric pushups on the medicine ball. The one hand plyometric pushup involves the same action as the clapping pushup, by maintaining one hand on the medicine ball, as your other hand goes high up in the air.
However, you will not be able to perform the clapping motion, since you only have one hand to use. This way you can build the necessary strength and endurance in your body and help your body to get accustomed to the range of motion involved in clapping pushup.
How to Use Clapping Pushup to Attain Bigger, Better Chest?
To get bigger and better chest, you can mix clap pushup with your chest workout routine. Also, it is best to do this pushup at the very beginning of your chest workout. Do a minimum of 6 – 8 reps for 2 – 4 sets. The goal should be to get higher and faster, while performing the motions, rather than being able to do more number of reps.
Increase the Intensity of the Exercise
Once you have mastered the art of clapping pushup, and the time had come when you decided to increase the intensity of the exercise, try clapping multiple times when you push yourself up from the ground and in the air.
You can also try the triple clap pushup in which you push yourself up in the air and clap three times, once at the front second behind your back and the third clap again in front of your chest. But don’t just try the triple clap pushup until you are comfortably able to perform a few sets of clapping pushup.
You can also try to perform the alternating plyometric pushup with a medicine ball. Do one repetition with the ball underneath one hand, and while in the air, roll the ball sideways towards the other hand and make sure the other hand is on top of the ball when it comes down. Keep rolling the ball sideways from hand to hand, as you explode high up in the air.
How Much Should You Do?
This exercise requires a lot of strength and experience. Do not attempt this exercise if you are a beginner. You might end up hurting yourself, by plummeting down on your face to the floor.
Once you can do at least 30 reps of regular pushup without breaking a sweat, you can try and attempt this exercise. For intermediate and advanced level athletes, try performing 2 – 3 sets of 8 reps each and 3 – 4 sets of 12 reps each respectively.
And as already discussed above, if you feel comfortable with clapping pushup, you can up the intensity level by using the method described above.
If you feel that you have trouble in your shoulder and elbow, as you launch yourself explosively, stop immediately. You might need to strengthen those muscle before attempting the exercise again. Another reason why this might happen is the incorrect form of your body during the movements. So correct yourself again by reading the guide twice and then perform the exercise.
Clapping pushup is a great way to ensure strength building in your overall upper body muscles, and at the same time give you some great punching abilities. So if you want to punch someone really hard, and do not have the necessary strength, try clapping pushup, you will definitely knock the person out.