Building Blocks: The Pushup Progression

This post marks the release of the first week of the Building Blocks Series Volume 1 powered by BridgeAthletic. Each week you and your athletes will be given the building blocks necessary for mastering the fundamental exercises that build elite athletic performance. Yes, these exercises will seem familiar, but you must remember that without a firm understanding of the basics there is no path towards greatness.

Volume 1 consists of four exercise progressions:

  • the pushup progression
  • the squat progression
  • the body weight pullup progression
  • the advanced pullup progression

Each week a new exercise will be introduced, followed by daily variations that add complexity while building strength, power, speed, and mobility.

BridgeAthletic graphic, 2015 US Nationals, Push ups series

Exercise Progression Introduction:

This week I would like to introduce the pushup. As I am sure many of you know, the pushup is one of the most accessible but effective exercises for building base upper-body strength. It is an integral part of any athlete’s development because it can be done anywhere, without any equipment. The pushup does far more for athletic development then just strengthen the chest. The nature of the exercise targets an athlete’s chest, shoulders, triceps, scapula and midsection. I like to refer to this as fingertip to toe connection. We’ve all seen pushups, but we can not forget the importance of form and technique. Even for such a basic exercise, the pushup has a level of complexity that cannot be ignored, as bad form can inevitably lead to muscle imbalances and future injuries.
Join us on our mission to perfect the pushup and build better athletes.

Exercise 1: Incline Pushup

BridgeAthletic graphic, 2015 US Nationals, Push ups series

The Incline Pushup is used to teach movement and the mechanics of the pushup by reducing shoulder pressure and engaging the athlete’s core.

Thanks for joining us on the first stage of the pushup progression. We hope you and your athletes will join us as we progress towards mastery.

Want Feedback?

We’re here to help. We highly encourage you and your athletes to share videos and pictures performing the exercises. Use #BuildBetterAtheltes in order to receive feedback and guidance from one of our elite coaches on the BridgeAthletic Performance Team.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for more Building Blocks!

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About BridgeAthletic

BridgeAthletic Logo 3BridgeAthletic works with elite professional, collegiate, and club swimming programs to provide a turnkey solution for dryland training.  Led by Nick Folker, the top swimming strength and conditioning coach in the world, our team builds stroke-specific, custom-optimized dryland programs for each of our clients. The individualized workouts are delivered directly to athletes via our state of the art technology platform and mobile applications. Check Nick and BridgeAthletic out as recently featured in SwimSwam.

About Nick Folker 

Nick Folker, BridgeAthleticNick Folker is the Co-Founder and Director of Elite Performance at BridgeAthletic. Nick’s athletes have won 22 Olympic Medals, 7 team NCAA Championships and over 170 individual and relay NCAA championships. Megan Fischer-Colbrie works as the Sports Science Editor at BridgeAthletic.  Megan was a four-year varsity swimmer at Stanford, where she recently graduated with a degree in Human Biology.

The Championship Series by BridgeAthletic is designed to empower athletes with tips from the pros that will help them reach peak performance come race day.  We will be covering competition-focused topics such as nutrition, recovery, stretching, and mental preparation.

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Swimming Training is courtesy of BridgeAthletic, a SwimSwam partner.

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