Push-ups are the most basic chest and arm exercise in existence, but when done properly the variations listed below develop not only chest and arm strength and hypertrophy, but shoulder stability, core strength, anti-rotational stability, and hip mobility, among others.

The one problem I have with standard push-ups is that they quickly become boring and/or too easy. So if you’re at a point where you can perform around 20 good push-ups in a row and are looking for a different challenge, try some of these push-up variations to add a new stimulus to your workout. Some of these variations require equipment, but it’s nothing you can’t find at any gym, or likely at your own home. So try them all and once you’ve mastered these variations, try the 100 Push-Up Challenge at the bottom of this article.

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Sprint speed is probably the most measurable way to demonstrate your potential as an athlete. At college camps, the ability to crank out an impressive 40-Yard Dash can be the difference between winning a scholarship or being relegated to walk-on status. At baseball tryouts and pro days, a good 60-Yard Dash can send a guy’s draft stock through the roof. Speed is valuable at any level of competitive athletics, so if you want to improve your speed and make yourself more marketable to coaches and scouts, try these drills and exercises.

To read more, check out my latest article published on Stack.com – 5 Easy Ways to Improve Sprint Speed

running dude

As I’ve written about before,  I don’t often include traditional speed and agility work such as ladder and cone drills in my athletes’ programs. There are two main reasons for this:

1) More often than not, strength is the more pressing issue.

2) Many athletes will improve their running speed and agility just by increasing strength.

Why You Should Prioritize Strength First

Strength is the most basic building block of athleticism, and for the most part, stronger athletes tend to be better athletes.

Renowned strength coach Mark Rippetoe wrote an excellent article on T-Nation recently about the importance of strength development for athletes, which included the following passage:

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One of the things I enjoy most about being a strength coach is the challenge that comes from figuring how to best address the needs of the athletes I train. I’ve always been good at (and enjoyed) problem-solving, and a large part of my job is exactly that. I know it sounds weird, but I look at every athlete I train as a problem to be solved. Every athlete is unique, in that they all have different strengths and weaknesses, and may have different goals as well. Most people will fall into one of a few general templates, but everyone has their own little athletic quirks, so they all require individual attention to make sure their program is as effective as possible.

Terrell Owens was such a clown

Some athletes apparently require a lot more attention than others…

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Every athlete I train undergoes an initial evaluation and then periodical re-evaluations every 6 weeks to monitor progress. A few of the things we test are squat strength, deadlift strength, vertical jump, 20 yd dash, 5-10-5 agility test, and broad jump. Having measured all these things hundreds of times, I’ve started to notice some interesting patterns and come to realize that the broad jump might be the best indicator of overall athletic ability. 

I don't give a shit how much you can bench. What's your broad jump?

I don’t give a shit how much you can bench. What’s your broad jump?

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Quote  —  Posted: December 3, 2013 in Jump Training, Speed, Training
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This post stems from a discussion I had with one of the softball players I train. I made the statement that most softball players could benefit from overhand throwing instruction, because their mechanics are typically substandard when compared with those of baseball players. She retorted that softball players have to short-arm the ball and throw with a low elbow because they have to get rid of the ball more quickly due to the fact that they play on a smaller field. In other words, they “don’t have time” to utilize proper mechanics. But in reality, throwing with proper mechanics doesn’t take any more time than throwing with poor mechanics.

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For those who aren’t in the know, here’s a brief video showing a battle rope workout. The basic idea is that you get a heavy rope and swing it around for a while.

Battle ropes (or battling ropes) have been experiencing a big surge in popularity recently. Lots of trainers are including battle rope exercises in their clients’ workouts, and some gyms are starting to look like shipyards with the amount of huge ropes they have lying around. But is the battle rope workout just another fad, or are battle ropes a worthwhile long-term addition to peoples’ training programs?

Effective training strategy, or stupid bullshit?

Effective training strategy, or stupid bullshit?

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