Hit ‘Em High, Hit ‘Em Low

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Hit ‘Em High, Hit ‘Em Low

Is your rep range in a rut? Break out with this innovative, research-based approach to training pecs.

Changing up your training fairly regularly is a proven tenet of success. Doing the same exact workouts over and over will eventually lead to a growth plateau, where your body adapts to that stimulus. To avoid that, you need to cycle different movements and strive to handle more weight more efficiently over time.

And that means if you’re muddled deep in a repetition rut, doing the same number of reps across the board, it’s time for a shake-up: an approach that tosses out that 10-rep tedium and varies your reps not just from workout to workout but also within a given training session.

Training at multiple repetition [ranges] within the same workout can have great physiological benefits to progress, fitness and health. Also, by training three-dimensionally — or taking an exercise for a specific muscle group and applying functional movement patterns — you can gain significant benefits, specifically to muscular recruitment, stability and muscular coordination.

Dumbbell Windmill Push-Up:

Get into push-up position, gripping two dumbbells instead of placing your hands on the floor. Perform a traditional push-up, but when you come to the top, elbows-straight position, twist your body to lift one dumbbell up and out to the side in an arc and perpendicular to the floor, then return it in the same arc to the floor. On the next rep, repeat the windmill motion with the opposite arm.

Multiplanar Push-Up:

Start in a standard push-up position. After each rep, switch your hand position as if putting your hands on different numbers of a clock. For instance, begin with a standard push-up, then put your left hand on 11 and right hand on 4 and do a rep, then put your left hand on 8 and right hand on 2 and do a rep. Keep moving your hands until you’ve done as many reps as possible.

Bosu Crossover Push-Up:

Get into push-up position with one hand on the floor and the other on a Bosu ball (or a low step). Do a standard push-up, then switch your hands to bring the one from the floor onto the Bosu and the one from the Bosu to the floor, where you’ll do another push-up. Continue this back-and-forth pattern for reps.

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