Pushing StrengthBy Adam Sinicki
One type of power then that really matters is pushing power or your pushing strength; basically referring to your ability to push a car down the road if necessary, to push people over and to win wrestling contests. It's very important from both a martial arts point of view, and from a bodybuilding/powerlifting perspective. Here we will look at how to train that pushing power and to be able to shift huge objects. It's time to find out what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object...
Compound Movements for Pushing Power
The first and most obvious way to improve pushing power or increase pushing strength is to use compound movements. These are the full body movements that involve being able to utilise many different muscle groups all at once and to control them in unison so that they work together. These compound exercises are comprised of the deadlift, the bench press and the squat as well as the Olympic lifting moves such as the clean and press. In other words anything that involves heaving a barbell with power that comes from your torso. This will train your core and your balance and it will generally improve your pushing power that way. Oh and lift heavy with fewer reps for this one. These movements will all also hit the precise muscle groups that are useful for pushing. Which are:
A Stable Base
This hints at the fact that we need a strong core and a stable base to have good pushing strength. Increase your base and your core stability and you'll greatly increase your ability to push people and things. To do this you should train your abs and obliques as well as your legs very heavily and you should train for balance using balance exercises. Try practising balancing with your eyes closed so that you learn to feel your balance rather than relying on site. Improving your balance will mean that you can better push people without risking falling over yourself.
The next thing that will really increase pushing strength is to increase your weight. This allows you to have a more stable base as you will be harder to be pushed yourself. At the same time it will mean that you can put your weight behind yourself when you push others which will combine with your muscle strength to send people and things flying.
Mimic the Movement
Then any additional training you do that mimics the motion of pushing will also work. As ever practice makes perfect so if you want to increase pushing strength in the real world you should practise pushing things in the gym. A great exercise that will do this for you is to do the cable press – stand yourself between two cable pulleys and put them quite high, before leaning against the cables with the handles in your hands and then pushing them forwards.