T Nation

Military Push-Up Performance


Was wondering what everyone thought about the idea of keeping shoulder blades retracted during push-ups to shorten range of motion for PT testing. I understand that shoulder protraction is necessary to strengthen the seratus anterior, but will the shorter distance be beneficial from a repetitions standpoint? Thanks in advance for any and all answers, god bless


BTW, I am 6'4'' tall and have very long arms, making the push-up a less than ideal exercise for me to excel at. I can currently get about 60 solid, full ROM push-ups, but even after pavel's grease the groove cycle, i didnt really gain much


I'm 6'1" with pretty long arms also. Got out 7 years ago, but while in I fought that same battle with push-ups on the APFT. Not sure what you mean by keeping the shoulders 'retracted', but what helped me to finally max out at 76 good ROM push-ups in a training environment (where they typically look harder), was lots of extra triceps work (mainly dips), so I could do the first 50-60 push-ups with my hands close together, then reposition wide when my tris started to give out. Hope this helps some man. Good luck.


sorry for confusion, but what i meant by shoulders retracted was just like how the shoulder blades should be pinched together during the bench press. I know its used for more stability, but also cuts the distance the bar has to travel down. thanks for the advice though, i'll give it a try



I'm in the navy and that's the way I do them for PT tests. I found that doing pushups frequently i.e. every day helped me stay ready with pushups. I would do anywhere from 50 to 200 pushups depending on my other training at the time.I would alternate between fast pushups and doing them slower. On the actual test though I recommend going as fast as possible.

On my PT tests I hit anywhere between 80 and 100 pushups at 6'1 215lbs


^^^^^^^Now THAT'S how to help a guy! (The inspirational video.)


Get stronger. Quit doing them wide arm, it puts you in a weaker position. Get stronger. The bench press isn't going to help.


When I was in the army, I could do 115 in the 2 minute time frame. we were allowed to change hand positions as long as we didn't pick them up off the ground. I would start off doing the first 50 or so non stop in a wide position because of the short rom I could know them out fast.

Once my chest started getting tired I'd bing my hand in some and continuted to do 10 rep sets until the time was up. Never really considered anything with my shoulder blades, just hand position.


That's pretty much how I do it, except here in cadetland they don't like us(or at least me) doing widearm.


Silly Army and your pushups....


You didn't just go there


I completely agree and I still want to commission


OP you could always go Navy and just do the bare minimum and not worry about it affecting your advancement.