The Ultimate Guide to Plyometric Push-Ups

Plyometric Push-Ups

Push-ups have been a classic exercise to develop upper-body strength and endurance for decades. However, plyometric push-ups are the way to go if you’re looking to take your push-up game to the next level. These explosive push-ups are a great way to improve your power, speed, and explosiveness.

Plyometric push-ups are explosive exercises involving pushing your body up with enough force to allow your hands to leave the ground. This explosive movement requires more strength, power, and coordination than a regular push-up. Nevertheless, it is an excellent exercise for athletes who want to improve their performance.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about plyometric push-ups, including how to perform them, their benefits, and how to incorporate them into your workout routine.

What Are Plyometric Push-Ups?

Plyometric push-ups, also known as explosive push-ups, are upper-body exercises that involve pushing your body up off the ground with enough force to allow your hands to leave the ground. This explosive movement requires strength, power, and coordination to execute correctly.

To perform a plyometric push-up, get into a push-up position with your feet together and your hands roughly shoulder-width apart. Next, lower your body to the ground, then push yourself up with enough force to allow your hands to leave the ground. As you land, use your elbows to absorb the impact and lower your body back to the ground. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Benefits of Plyometric Push-Ups

Plyometric push-ups offer many benefits for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Adding plyometric push-ups to your workout routine can help you with the following:

Power: Plyometric push-ups are a great way to improve your strength, speed, and ability to explode. You can jump higher, run faster, and hit harder by training your body to generate more force.

Increased Strength: Plyometric push-ups require more strength than traditional push-ups, making them an excellent exercise for building upper body strength.

Improved Coordination: Plyometric push-ups require coordination between your upper and lower body, making them an excellent exercise for improving overall coordination and athleticism.

Enhanced Endurance: Plyometric push-ups are a challenging exercise that can help improve your overall endurance and stamina.

How to Incorporate Plyometric Push-Ups into Your Workout Routine

There are several ways to incorporate plyometric push-ups into your workout routine. Start with these ideas:

Circuit Training: Plyometric push-ups can be added to a circuit training workout to improve power, strength, and endurance.

Superset with Weightlifting: Plyometric push-ups can be used as a superset with weightlifting exercises to increase power and explosiveness.

Use as a Warm-Up: Plyometric push-ups can be used as a dynamic warm-up exercise to prepare your body for more intense training.

Incorporate into a HIIT Workout: Plyometric push-ups can be incorporated into a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout to add an extra challenge and boost your calorie burn.

Combine with Other Plyometric Exercises: You can do a full-body plyometric workout with plyometric push-ups and other plyometric exercises like jump squats or box jumps. However, it’s important to note that plyometric exercises are highly impactful and put a lot of stress on your joints. Because of this, it’s important to work up to plyometric push-ups slowly and ensure you’re solid and stable enough before trying them.

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How to Progress Your Plyometric Push-Ups

Once you know how to do a basic plyometric push-up, there are many ways to make the exercise harder and keep your body guessing. Here are a few ideas:

Clap Push-Ups: Clap push-ups involve clapping your hands together mid-air before landing and lowering yourself back into a push-up position. The added challenge to the exercise requires even more explosive power.

Weighted Plyometric Push-Ups: Adding weight to your plyometric push-ups, such as a weight vest or resistance band, can increase the resistance and make the exercise even more challenging.

Elevated Plyometric Push-Ups: Performing plyometric push-ups with your hands on a box or bench can increase the range of motion and challenge your upper body differently.

One-Arm Plyometric Push-Ups: Once you’ve built enough strength and coordination, you can try performing plyometric push-ups with one arm, which requires even more stability and balance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Performing Plyometric Push-Ups

Like any exercise, people make several common mistakes when performing plyometric push-ups. Here are a few to watch out for:

Not Building a Strong Foundation: Plyometric push-ups are high-impact exercises that require a strong foundation of strength and stability. Make sure you’ve mastered the basic push-up before attempting plyometric variations.

Starting Too Quickly: Plyometric exercises are intense and can put a lot of stress on your joints. Build up to plyometric push-ups gradually, and only attempt them once you feel ready.

Not landing right: When doing a plyometric push-up, land with your elbows slightly bent to absorb the impact and reduce joint stress.

Allowing Your Hips to Drop: To do a plyometric push-up correctly, keep a straight line from your head to your heels the whole time. Allowing your hips to drop can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Plyometric Push-Ups

Are plyometric push-ups safe?

Yes, plyometric push-ups are safe as long as they are performed correctly and in proper form. Before you try plyometric push-ups, work up to them slowly and ensure you have a strong base of strength and stability.

What muscles do plyometric push-ups work?

Plyometric push-ups work your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.

How many plyometric push-ups should I do?

The number of plyometric push-ups you should do depends on your fitness level and goals. Start with a few reps, such as 5-10, and gradually increase.

Can plyometric push-ups help me build muscle?

Plyometric push-ups can help you build muscle, especially in your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

How often should I do plyometric push-ups?

You can do plyometric push-ups 2-3 times each week, but you should include a day of rest between workouts to allow your muscles to recover.

Can beginners do plyometric push-ups?

Even though plyometric push-ups are hard, beginners can work up to them by getting good at the basic push-up and getting stronger and more explosive over time.

What are the benefits of plyometric push-ups?

Plyometric push-ups can help improve explosive power, increase upper body strength and endurance, and boost calorie burn.

Can plyometric push-ups help with weight loss?

Use plyometric push-ups as part of a HIIT workout to burn more calories and help you lose weight.

How can I make plyometric push-ups easier?

If plyometric push-ups are too challenging, you can modify the exercise by performing regular push-ups or elevating your hands on a bench or box.

How can I prevent injury when doing plyometric push-ups?

To avoid getting hurt while doing plyometric push-ups, work up to them slowly, use the proper form and technique, and pay attention to your body. Then, if you experience pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and seek medical attention, if necessary.


Plyometric push-ups are a challenging and effective exercise that can help you build explosive power, increase upper body strength and endurance, and support weight loss. You can do more challenging push-ups like clap or one-arm plyometrics after you have mastered the basic push-up and built up your strength and explosive power. As with any exercise, it’s essential to use proper form and technique, build up gradually, and listen to your body’s signals to prevent injury and maximize your workout. Incorporating plyometric push-ups into a HIIT workout or combining them with other plyometric exercises can add an extra challenge and help you achieve your fitness goals.