LETHAL LOWER PUSHUP ROUTINE
Why it works: Performing just the lowering portion of an exercise causes more muscle damage than the lifting phase.
In order to repair the damage, your body builds stronger, bigger muscle fibers, according to BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., creator of THE 21-DAY METASHRED, a cutting-edge workout program that’s scientifically designed to blast fat and define every muscle in 21 days.
Do it: You’ll do 12 reps of the pushup. For each rep, take 3 to 5 seconds to lower your chest to the floor.
When you reach the bottom, rest your knees on the floor, and then push up with your arms so you’re on all fours. Then return to a full pushup position by straightening your leg, and prepare for you next rep.
THE LONG GAME PUSHUP ROUTINE
Why it works: When you do a normal pushup, the floor stops your chest from going any further. Your muscles are working along a fixed range of motion.
But when you hold a pushup at an extended range of motion—past where your chest would normally stop—you’re stretching your pec muscles under load, says Speer.
Doing this can incite a process called hyperplasia, which causes new muscle fibers to grow at the ends of the muscle.
“It’s an often overlooked area to add total volume to the muscle,” he says. (Note: If the extended range of motion hurts your shoulders, skip this routine.)
Do it: Get into pushup position, but place your hands onto two low boxes or medicine balls, instead of the floor.
Perform 10 reps in a row, and then hold your arms so your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle for 10 seconds. Without resting, perform as many reps in a row as possible, and then hold your arms so your elbows are bent at an angle just below 90 degrees for 10 seconds. (About halfway between your previous position and the floor.)
Finally, do as many reps as possible in a row, and then lower yourself so your chest hovers just above the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.
Do this no more than once a week. (If you feel any painful pulling or tugging around your joints, stop immediately.)