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Improve Your Push-up With One Exercise!


By Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner, DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, OS Instructor

Don’t Miss Our Early Black Friday with 25% Off All DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Gear and Workouts with Coupon Code “dvrtfriday” HERE

Let’s admit it, the push up can be a pain in the ass for many. How many FMS Trunk Stability Push-up 1s have you screened? Building a strong push up can be a slow and mentally painful process. For some it is absolutely a strength issue. For others, it’s the inability to generate the right amount of tension and really tie the whole body together. Here’s where the DVRT Training System comes into play. DVRT (Dynamic Variable Resistance Training) is based on movement and obtaining strength. The Ultimate Sandbag (USB) is one weapon in our arsenal, but not the only one.

To get back to the point, how do we improve your push up? As is often the case, our clients or students don’t quite “feel” what we’re hoping they will in the push up. The idea of lat, abdominal and glute engagement can be a hard concept to put into practice.

Well, one simple Ultimate Sandbag Training drill allows your student to actually feel much of this without this without having to deal with their own bodyweight at the start.


-Start with your knees under your hips, both feet dorsi flexed and in a tall upright posture.
-Grab a Core or Power USB by the outside handles.
-Brace your abs, drive the balls of both feet and toes into the ground and squeeze you glutes tightly.
-Pull the outer handles apart as you press the USB forward to lockout. *Avoid a change in the angle of your torso as you do so.

*Avoid a change in the angle of your torso as you do so.

-Hold the extended USB out for beat and then pull the USB back to you. Be sure to keep pulling the handles apart as you pull the USB back to you.
-Try this for 5 slow reps.

ultimate sandbag training

If done correctly, it won’t take a heavy Ultimate Sandbag to make your students feel their glutes and abs fire up. I usually use a 15 to 20 pound Core USB. The pulling apart of the handles makes it difficult for shoulders to rise up as they tend to do in a push up. If they don’t realize they have lats, they will now. Being locked into that tall kneeling position truly forces you to use your lats for the push/pull aspect of the push up.

Mark Fisher Fitness ninja and early morning badass, Gabe Schwartz had this to say about the drill:

“It really helped me feel my lats… I felt a lot stronger and more stable.”

Fellow MFF staffer Stefanie Miller (aka: Rainbow Dash) had a similar result. Rainbow Dash had this to say about the drill:

“The DVRT drill really helped to turn on my lats and engage them in a way I wasn’t nailing before… also in applying that sort of full body tension.” 

sandbag training

MFF’s own Sexy Siren, Christian Sineath, simply said:

“That felt much better and easier.”

Here is how I would suggest you use the Ultimate Sandbag Outside Handle Tall Kneeling Press-Out (USB OH TK PO) drill. Perform 5 slow reps before you’re first set of push ups. Use again as needed if you see that form starts to falter.

Try this quick ladder workout to feel the benefit of the press-out. You’ll start each rung with 5 slow Outside Handle Tall Kneeling Press-Outs. The push ups will descend by 2 reps each rung and your USB Front Loaded 1 &1/4 Squats will go up 2 reps each rung. Rest as needed between rungs.

Push ups 1×10, 1×8, 1×6, 1×4, 1×2
USB FL 1&1/4 SQUAT 1×2, 1×4, 1×6, 1×8, 1×10

Now, I have to add that the Tall Kneeling Outside Handle Press-Out is a great drill for many reasons other than just push ups. It will light your system up and get you primed for anything. Mix it with deadbugs for some super abs of fire.

Give the drill a try and let me know how it goes. To learn more check out a DVRT Workshop or Certification near you. Click HERE for dates and locations.

I hope to see you at one soon!

ultimate sandbag training

-Fury out

Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner, DVRT Master Chief Instructor, Senior RKC, Original Strength Instructor, is a proud member of the Ninja Army training staff at Mark Fisher Fitness in NYC. Fury is available for classes, semi-privates, instructor training and programming at MFF. He also has availability for private training at Five Points Academy and Catalyst S.P.O.R.T. Check out www.coachfury.com,facebook.com/coachfury and twitter.com/coachfury for more info.