Have you been practising your PFA push ups several times a week for the last couple of months and now you just can't seem to be progressing? You may have hit a training plateau.
It's not uncommon for Australian Defence Force applicants to feel like they've been training hard with their push ups for the PFA then all of a sudden their progress seems to come to a grinding halt. This is pretty normal and is referred to as a "training plateau". There maybe several reasons as to why you've hit a plateau. It could have something to do with your nutrition or it could be due to your sleep patterns however, it may also be because your workouts lack variation.
If you have been doing traditional push ups in every session then your body is probably super efficient at that movement and has become lazy. It's time to challenge it!
Below are 7 variations for you to mix up your push up training with.
1. hand release push ups
Hand release push ups are great for developing your strength in the flexed position (arms bent). Both on the way down (eccentric phase) and on the way back up (concentric phase).
- Make sure your thighs are the last thing to touch the ground on the way down.
- Make sure your thighs are the first thing off the ground on the way up.
2. band assisted push ups
Band assisted push ups are a great way to get a feel for a correct push up if you don't have the strength to conduct proper push ups yet.
- Rest the band directly under your pelvis so it gives you a true indication of your centre of gravity.
- Make sure someone is there to assist when setting yourself up. We've seen far too many people get the band tangled in their hair when finishing up.
3. feet elevated push ups
This variations is one of the most challenging. The increased angle seriously increases the amount of resistance therefore making this one a super challenge!
- Make sure you engage your core throughout. The increased angle will put more pressure on your midsection so be sure to not let it sag.
- It's common to want to put your hands further forward. Keep your hands under your shoulders.
4. suspension trainer push ups
Definitely not for the faint hearted. Every muscle in your body will be challenged with this variation.
- Start off at a higher angle. The suspension trainers require more stability so if you aren't prepared for it you may fall flat on your face.
- Aim to keep your body in the same position as traditional push ups. You don't want to pick up bad habits, as your body seems to have a mind of it's own during this variation.
5. incline push ups
Incline push ups are by far the greatest variation for regressing. You can keep your form exactly the same as push ups on the ground by going full depth and keeping your body in a straight line. Start high and as you get better just simply lower the height.
- Make sure your hands and feet are in the same position as push ups on the ground. Often we see people stretched therefore putting unnecessary pressure on the core.
- Go full depth every single rep!! Strength is gained in the region you train. Train half depth push ups and you'll only be good at half depth push ups.
6. diamond push ups
This is an awesome variation really gives a good burn in your pecs. Throw in a few of these throughout your sets and reap the rewards.
- Keep your hands under your chest not your face.
- You can do diamond push ups on an elevated surface to make them easier to conduct while still benefiting from the new movement.
7. weighted eccentric phase push ups
This variation is brilliant for developing your ability to maintain strength throughout the full range of the push up in the 'eccentric phase' (on the way down).
- You'll need a buddy for this one. Or if you're feeling hardcore and can push back up with the weight on your back then go for it.
- Rest the plate weight on the top of your glutes and upper back. This will avoid putting too much strain on your lumber (lower back curve).
- Lower yourself down under control over 5 seconds. Make sure your thighs are the last thing to touch the ground on the way down.
So there you have 7 variations you can do to mix up your training. If you feel like you've hit a wall and can't seem to progress with your PFA push up training then skip the traditional push ups for a few weeks and throw in some of these variations to but through the plateau.
For more support on how to do correct push ups for your PFA to give yourself every possible advantage - reach out and chat to one of our team to learn more about how we can help you to perform to your best at your physical fitness assessment.
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.