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The Push-up Solution

ultimate sandbag

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Co-Creator of DVRT Restoration, Shoulder & Pelvic Control Course)

When you talk about the push-up, a lot of people think about a relatively basic exercise. Most will still think of a push-up that is “good for the chest” but you outgrow pretty quickly. I can say this with confidence because it is how I largely thought of the push-up.

As I started to really focus on movement and what that really means, the value I saw in the push-up increased as well. In helping people experience those benefits I think we have to change the intent we put behind the exercise. Some things will be more obvious than others. For example, we know the push-up is a plank, that doesn’t escape most people. However, a lot of people struggle with just doing a plank so where do we begin?

The key of teaching a plank, which leads us to a better push-up, is the force we create into the ground and our ability to connect the chains of the body. With the push-up, that definitely means the hands, lats, trunk, glutes, and feet. How can we do so without doing a plank? That is where our Tall Kneeling Press Out comes into play.


The Tall Kneeling Press Out is simple, but also is easy to make mistakes that change our ability to get the correlation to the push-up. The use of the bands around the arch of our feet is to keep our feet neutral and most will feel their lateral hip muscles really kicking in! The balls of my feet pressing into the ground are essential in both giving me a stable platform and maintaining my hips in the extended position (a lot of people start flexing their hips by sitting back into their heels). The action of pressing down in the feet starts before we press the Ultimate Sandbag outwards.

We position the USB at bellybutton height, not chest, and actively try to pull the USB apart. The press will come straight out from the bellybutton as we continue to push down into the feet and pull the USB apart.

You can see with Cory how we want to be very deliberate how we use our feet and our hands that give us better hip, core, and shoulder stability and strength! These are key concept in doing a better push-up and not feeling it in our shoulders.

Half Kneeling Drill

The half kneeling position is another great way for us to build the push-up that most people would miss. Half kneeling helps us see stability of each hip and because we know the feet, hips, and core influence our shoulders, training them together gives us another way to build greater and healthier movement and strength for the push-up.

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I have to admit, I was a bit nervous to dare ask the question if a lot of landmine exercises do what coaches thing. I am ALL for tools that create solutions (that is how I see our Ultimate Sandbag), but each tool functions a bit differently and the landmine more so than most. In order to demonstrate these points, I thought I would tackle some of the pressing issues while I left it up to physical therapist, @jessbento_physiotherapist to tackle the deadlift. ➡️I can’t do this entirely justice in a social media post so I hope you will check the LINK in my BIO for the full article! ______ Why don’t I think the landmine press is the shoulder solution that most others see? Whenever we press (whether horizontally or vertically) when we or the weight gets furthest from our bodies, our core becomes more tense. It does so because otherwise we would have our bodies “thrown” around and be REALLY unstable. Plus, this is a simple way for the body to try to protect the spine from going into extension where it can have more stress on the spine. ______ During the landmine though, because of the fact the weight gets LIGHTER as the weight is raised (which is OPPOSITE of what pretty much every other press creates), we don’t get that core tension. That is really important because the feet, the hips, and the core play an integral role in both us having great strength in our pressing and developing good mobility especially in the shoulders. ______ I get many coaches are fighting clients having problematic shoulders during pressing. Unfortunately, I see the landmine as a band-aid that never really fixes or helps the issues. If we look at the whole body and coach very specific actions of the feet, the hands, and positions of the body, we can create great solutions fast! I have given a few examples using @perform_better bands, kettlebells, and our Ultimate Sandbag. These drills actually teach the actions of the body that can have a great and immediate impact upon one’s shoulders. Hope you check out the article too!

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Josh breaks down some half kneeling progressions that have a huge influence on our ability to progress to a better push-up. What you might see missing is a landmine press. That is because when we push out from our body as in the band press, a push-up, or even going overhead the tension in our core goes up. The body does this to create stability that allows the arms to move stronger and better. However, with the landmine the weight when it goes up becomes easier and there is less bracing of the core going on.

This blows most people’s minds as it is so popular to use landmines, but they fail to realize that it is an opposite strength curve. These details are very important in not just building a better push-up, but movement overall.

Suspension Units

I use to do it with patients, that is have them perform push-ups from a kneeling position. What I failed to realize was that keeping the whole body engaged was such an essential part of the push-up and really building core stability overall. However, I didn’t know what else I could do to help people progress while keeping stability from the feet up. Suspension units can be a powerful tool if we keep these concepts in mind as DVRT UK master, Greg Perlaki breaks down.

This leads to offering us more progressions than just lower to the ground. When you see how our DVRT movements work together within a system we can see so much more potential to problem solve. Once you have a solid push-up you can go to advanced progressions like DVRT Master, Sean Lettero shows, which don’t just make your push-ups better, but have great transfer to a stronger and more resilient entire body!

Find out how we build better progressions like the push-up in our L.I.F.T. certification or check out just our pressing progressions HERE and save 25% with our DVRT Foundations for FREE with code “save25”