Skip weights and gear and build chest size by owning unilateral pushup form.
One of the best ways to train with bodyweight is to utilize the technique dropset, which has you applying a technique to your early reps on a classic bodyweight movement, then tweaking that technique later to allow for more reps. It’s a solid way to create overload without any external resistance, and it’s often more challenging than you think.
It’s also a great way to level up your pushup, pushing your chest to greater gains without the use of a bench press. And that’s what you do in the Half-Full Post Pushup Dropset from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. The pushup series, which requires nothing more than your bodyweight and a pole or post that you can grab with one hand, pushes your chest to the limit, and, says Samuel, it forces you to own the entire pushup range of motion.
“It’s common when doing pushups to avoid certain sticking points, or pieces of the range of motion that we can’t usually handle, by exploding up through them,” says Samuel. “During this dropset, you’ll spend extra time at several tricky points, building time-under-tension and challenging your core to remain stable during those moments.
“That’s one of the strengths of the post pushup as well,” he adds. “Your core can’t take a break during the post pushup, especially when we add the half-full motion in.”
Because you’re not exploding back to the top on every rep, you have to be in complete control of the pushup motion, challenging chest and triceps to the max. You also pile up extra time in the most challenging moment of the pushup: At the bottom, with your chest an inch from the ground. “For every half-full rep,” says Samuel, “you power out of the bottom of a pushup twice. That’s not easy.”
It’s that much harder because of what comes next: After blasting through half-full reps, you transition to standard post pushups, which are challenging in their own right. “It leaves your chest on fire,” says Samuel.
But it is worth it, and it’s that much better since you can do it anywhere, from outside to your hotel room to in the weight room. Bodyweight dropsets don’t get any better than that.
- Set up in position for a post pushup, one hand grasping a post, the other supporting your weight. Tighten your core.
- Lower your chest to the ground, keeping your hips and shoulders square to the ground. Press halfway back up.
- Lower back down to the ground, then press up, straightening your arm. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 reps.
- Immediately do standard post pushup reps; aim for 6 to 8 reps.
Repeat the entire process on the other arm. That’s 1 set; do 3 sets.
The Half-Full Post Pushup Dropset works best as the lead exercise in a bodyweight chest workout, but it can be used in other situations too. You can use it as a key push move in a full-body workout, or you can use it as a devastating finisher, on the heels of bench presses and incline dumbbell presses, in a more intense weight room chest workout. It’s also a solid move you can go to in a hotel, if you need a quick workout but are limited on equipment.
Author: Ebenezer Samuel
Source: Men’s Health: This Unilateral Pushup Combo Will Leave Your Chest on Fire