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Hand Release Push-Up: Gym Shorts (How To)

New to the hand release push-up or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

Hand Release Push-Up Correct Form

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Hand Release Push-Up Correct Form: Follow These Steps

  • Hands slightly forward and out
  • Feet together or slightly apart
  • Lower your body as one piece until your chest touches the ground
  • Quickly extend arms out to your side & return hands to original position
  • Push body up as a unit
  • Elbows fully extended at the top
  • Abs tight
  • Legs and back form one rigid plank
  • Maintain neutral neck (look down, not forward)

What is the Hand Release Push-Up

The hand release push-up (HRPU) is a variation on the push-up that involves a lifting up of the hands off the ground and – sometimes – a movement to the side.

Typical push-ups, similar to dips or squats, involve a lowering of the body to where the elbow is just below the shoulder joint. At this point, depth is reached.

CrossFit incorporates hand release push-ups into many of its workouts. The military has increasingly included hand release push-ups as part of its physical fitness assessments or tests.

Programming the Hand Release Push-Up

We tend to program these for lifters who need them because of the military or want them because of CrossFit.

Another group that may perform them are lifters who find themselves without equipment temporarily (e.g. vacation, business travel). Hand release push-ups can be done to stress the upper body during these periods.

Unless the lifter can only perform 1-15 repetitions, these train the muscular endurance physical attribute. Because of this, lifters typically perform them for 2-5 sets of higher repetition sets.

These sets may be done for as many reps as possible (AMRAP), either until failure or during a set period of time.

A set number of reps may be performed as part of a circuit (e.g. 15 reps as part of a 5 round circuit including chin-ups, farmer carries, and sit-ups). Another way to program these is for a total number (e.g. 100 push-ups) where the lifter does them in as few sets and as little time as possible.

Lastly, a lifter may simply do some throughout the day in a “grease the groove” method. For example, a lifter may complete 100 push-ups in a day by doing 10 push-ups every hour.

If you need some bodyweight upper body exercises, like CrossFit, or have these as part of your physical fitness test, consider training hand release push-ups regularly.

Click HERE to watch a video on getting your first chin-up and HERE to read our free home training guide.

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