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Operation Pushing for Power

10 tips to improve push-up performance

In every branch of the military, the push-up exercise remains the most widely used for physical readiness training and testing. One of the oldest exercises in history, there are great benefits to performing push-ups regularly. From improved strength in the Triceps, Pectorals and Deltoids, push-ups also demand absolute abdominal and lower back stability and balance.

There are illustrations of Yoga positions dating back as far as 5,000 years ago showing poses that resemble the push-up, such as the downward and upward dog. In 1896 the War Department published Colonel Herman Koehler’s Manual of Calisthenics showing multiple “Leaning Rest” (aka “Plank”) exercises on pages 37-40, stressing the importance of balance and power while pushing away from the ground.

“We must train as we fight,” mentioned in several military leadership manuals and policy letters, is a principle that defines the success of any branch of the military. “The push-up exercise helps every Soldier develop the muscular strength and biomechanics to push the enemy away in combat,” says Dr. Ed Thomas, Iowa K-12 Health and Physical Education Consultant. 

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Ken′s energy and belief in Resiliency of the body and mind are contagious! Seeing our Service Members′ and civilians′ reactions to his trainings prove his ability and drive to touch something inside each and every individual in his audience. What a special gift Ken has to inspire others!
- Debbie L. Morris, Contractor, TN Army National Guard