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Bodyweight Progressions

Bodyweight Progressions
January 17, 2019 Dan Raimondi

Bodyweight movements can take you far. Here are some ways to modify them to be easier or harder:

Push Ups (to make them easier)

-Elevate your hands on a bench, box, or smith machine

-Do only the eccentric portion of the movement(lower down slow), then go to your knees to get back up

-Do long isometric holds at the top (as Dan John calls them, PUPs)

Push Ups (to make them harder)

-Elevate your feet

-Use a band, chains, or plates as an external load

-Vary the speed of your decent (super slow on the way down, pause in the bottom)

-Vary the speed of your ascent (clapping push-ups)

-Add more total reps

Pull Ups (to make them easier)

-Use a band

-Just do the lowering phase (jump up to the bar and lower slowly)

-Have a partner assist you through the sticking point

Pull Ups (to make them harder)

-Use a weight vest or belt with an external load

-Add reps and/or sets

-Change the tempo, grip width, or grip position (palms facing you or facing away)

Bodyweight movements can be useful when traveling, or if you simply need a mental break from other exercises you’ve been doing.