Pushups are cheap, simple and brutally effective. It is a complete upper body workout that can strengthen your shoulder joints as well. An ultimate bodyweight exercise, since it has so many different variations to offer, which actually strengthens the entire body.
They are considered to be the most functional exercise that works on almost every muscle group that we have in the body. For someone who loves to perform different bodyweight exercise, the pushup is like a treasure, because of its wide variety and effectiveness.
People who follow bodyweight training or calisthenics can never get bored with their fitness routine, as they always have new things to try, which challenge them in different ways. Out of the many such variations of the push up , one such variation is military push-up.
The military pushup is performed in the same way as that of a standard pushup. This kind of pushup is normally used by armed forces during the selection and training of new recruits. Different branches of the military have different requirements, regarding the body position and range of motion.
The military push up is categorized as a weight-bearing exercise, which engages all major muscles group in the torso and arms while using your own body weight to provide resistance to these muscle group. This pushup variation is used by the armed forces in The United States America, which provides a detailed account of stamina and strength.
Though there is a number of variation available for a pushup, military style pushup remains to be the gold standards for fitness assessments and muscle builds up routine.
In this post, we will discuss the technique involved in perfecting the art of military pushups, the muscles group this exercise works on, the benefits and the breathing pattern involved in this exercise, how this exercise can be modified to meet your strength requirements and some tips to execute it more effectively.
How to Master the Art of Military Pushup?
Correct Body Posture
Before moving ahead with the technique, let us talk about the correct body form required to execute this exercise. Following are the step which explains the body positioning in detail.
1. Start by getting into the high plank position or the regular pushup position with your arms and legs fully stretched out.
2. Place your hands underneath the shoulders and maintain a shoulder-width distance in between the two hands.
3. The position of the thumbs should be such that they should face each other. Maintain a shoulder-width distance in between your legs.
4. Organize the toes in such a way that they are able to support your lower body weight evenly.
5. Ensure that the knees, shoulders, hips, and head are all in a straight line. Maintain a neutral position with your head, so that the chin is pointing towards the floor and eyes straight ahead.
Proper Execution Technique
Once you have the correct body form and starting position, you are good to go and start performing the perfect pushup. Following is a step by step procedure which explains how to do a military pushup perfectly.
1. Start the movement of the body by bending the elbows and lowering the entire body down towards the floor, until the arms come to a parallel position to the ground.
2. Returning back to the starting position is extremely difficult when it comes to military pushup. Press the hands against the floor and lift the body entirely until the arms are in fully stretched position.
3. Ensure that your body remains rigid throughout and must be in a straight line. The body should move as a single unit. This is the most important part of a military pushup.
4. This completes one repetition. Perform as many reps as possible, but ensure that you do it in the right body form.
During the time of military training process, if the sergeant feels that the body isn’t moving as a single unit and in one line, the chances are that the trainee will be disqualified. So if you are someone who aspires to be a military man, then take the body form seriously and perfect it.
Breathing Pattern Involved in Military Pushup
As you lower your body down towards the floor, breathe in and maintain a straight line. Stop the body movement when the upper arms are in parallel with the floor.
Breathe out as you push back to the starting position. Keep check of the breathing pattern at the time of this high-intensity pushup exercise.
Muscle Group Military Push up Works on?
The military pushup is an intensive exercise that requires a lot of strength, stamina, and endurance to perform. This variation of the exercise works on the chest muscles, shoulders, triceps and back muscles of the arms.
It also helps to increase core strength. This exercise is a great way to achieve strength, stamina, and endurance. This exercise also improves the overall balance of the body and increases the flexibility as well.
Pace to Perform Military Pushup
As compared to regular pushup variation, military pushup needs to perform at a rapid pace. Most branches of the armed forces include a time pushup test as a part of their physical fitness test.
The candidate is required to complete as many pushups as possible within the specified time limit, to impress and give themselves a chance for selection.
Regardless of the number of pushups you perform during the specified time, your utmost priority should be the proper body form, rather than the number of reps performed.
During the test scenario, the repetitions that are not performed with correct form and proper technique, are not eligible to be counted towards the final score. Thus, make sure you do it correctly and with great speed to get a good score in the test.
Modified Military Pushup
For someone who is not able to perform the military pushup at the start, it is always advisable to perform a modified version of the pushup. This can be done by lowering yourself down towards the floor, but instead of extending the legs fully, lift the feet off the ground and get on the knee position.
Cross both of your feet together, and maintain the same upper body position as described above. Doing this will decrease the intensity of the exercise and you will feel more comfortable at the time of performance.
Who should do it and how much is enough?
This exercise is a must for individuals who are willing to join armed forces at some point in their life. But for people who just want to try out a new variation of the pushup, do not attempt this exercise, if you are a beginner.
For intermediate, try and see if you can do 2 – 3 sets of 8 reps with the correct form. If the form of the body isn’t right, it is better to work on the form first.
For advanced level fitness fanatics, perform at least 3 – 4 sets of 12 reps in the correct form. For this exercise to be performed perfectly, one needs to pay more attention to the form rather than on the number of reps.
How to make it More Challenging?
The intensity of the exercise can be increased by placing dumbbells on the floor, at the position where you place the hands. Grip the dumbbells in such a way that the thumbs are pointing towards each other.
The addition of extra height with response to the dumbbells allows going deeper than the normal height, increasing the range of motion for the body.
Ensure that you do not flare the elbow out. Flaring them out will put extra pressure on the shoulders and you might end up hurting yourself. Maintain a closed position with your torso and elbows to prevent any unnecessary injury.
This exercise is required and used as a physical fitness test by many of the armed forces. Though the specification of each respective armed forces might differ, they are more or less the same in a huge way.
In this variation of the traditional pushup, you need to focus on the speed as well as the body form, both at the same time. This unique characteristic of the exercise makes it even more difficult to perform and executed flawlessly.
But do not shy away. Read out the guide on military pushups twice, if need be, and keep practicing it slowly. Gradually you will start to feel the difference and the confidence to perform the exercise with speed and form will come.
Do not shy away. If you dream to be at nation’s service, your journey towards it begins with the military pushup.