STRENGTH TRAINING

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Flat Bench Push-ups

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.


Benefits
Use flat bench push-ups back-to-back or supersetted with other pec exercises to fatigue every inch of your chest. Put your hands closer together on the bench to hit the center of your chest.

Muscles Worked
Chest
Triceps

Starting Position
Stand behind a flat bench that is firmly bolted to the floor. Important: Do not do this exercise using a moveable piece of furniture. Place your hands flat on the bench a little bit more than shoulder-width apart and walk your feet back behind you until you achieve an elevated plank position, with your weight on your toes and hands, your back flat and neck in line with your spine, and your shoulders retracted to focus the work in your chest. Turn your hands slightly to the outside (see Photo 1).

Exercise

  1. From the starting position, do a standard push-up, bending your elbows to lower your chest to the bench while keeping your back flat and a straight line from the top of your head to your feet. With your chest engaged, lower down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and your elbows are level with your back. Your chest should not touch the bench. Focus on keeping your shoulders back and chest in front as you descend; use your chest muscles to resist the weight of your body (see Photos 2 and 3).
  2. From the bottom of the push-up, exhale and push up back to the starting position using your chest muscles. As you push up and descend, engage your core so that your hips never dip below level with your back (see Photo 4).
About Mike Clausen: Clausen is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body personal training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. He has been actively involved in sports and weightlifting since high school, and continues to use that knowledge when training his clients. Clausen is both A.C.E. and N.A.S.M. certified and has been training clients professionally for six years. He enjoys making his clients stronger, both physically and mentally, giving them the tools to create an efficient body and to do things they thought were not possible.