Clap push-ups are an advanced and explosive variation of the standard push-up. It involves propelling your body off the ground with enough force to clap your hands together before catching yourself and returning to the starting push-up position. This exercise is considered a plyometric or explosive push-up variation and is often used to increase upper body strength and power.
How to do:
It’s important to note that clap push-ups are an advanced exercise and should only be attempted by individuals who have mastered standard push-ups and have a solid foundation of upper body strength. Proper form and technique are crucial to prevent injuries, especially wrist and shoulder issues. Here’s how to perform a clap push-up:
- Starting Position:
- Begin in a regular push-up position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core muscles to maintain stability.
- The Descent:
- Lower your chest toward the ground by bending your elbows. Keep your body in a straight line throughout the descent.
- Lower yourself as far as you would in a standard push-up, with your chest approaching the floor.
- The Clap:
- Explosively push off the ground with your hands, generating enough upward force to lift your upper body off the floor.
- While in mid-air, quickly bring your hands together in front of your chest and clap them together. This requires speed and coordination.
- Try to clap your hands as close to your chest as possible.
- The Landing:
- After clapping your hands, immediately extend your arms to catch yourself and return to the push-up position.
- Land with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, ready for the next repetition.
- Land with bent elbows to absorb the impact and protect your wrists and elbows.
- Perform multiple repetitions of the clap push-up, focusing on explosive power and a controlled landing.
- Gradually increase the number of repetitions as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
Clap Push-Up: Benefits
- Upper Body Strength: Clap push-ups primarily target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, making them an effective exercise for building upper body strength. The explosive nature of the movement engages these muscles more intensely than standard push-ups.
- Power and Explosiveness: Clap push-ups require you to generate explosive power to lift your body off the ground and clap your hands together in mid-air. This helps improve your explosive strength and speed, qualities that are valuable in many sports and activities.
- Muscle Endurance: Performing multiple repetitions of clap push-ups can increase muscular endurance in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Improved endurance can enhance your overall athletic performance and reduce the risk of fatigue-related injuries.
- Core Engagement: To maintain stability and control during clap push-ups, your core muscles must work harder to keep your body aligned. This contributes to improved core strength and stability.
- Enhanced Plyometric Abilities: Clap push-ups are a plyometric exercise, which means they involve explosive movements that improve your ability to generate force quickly. This can be beneficial for activities that require jumping, sprinting, and rapid changes in direction.
- Caloric Burn: Due to the high intensity and explosive nature of clap push-ups, they can be an effective calorie-burning exercise. Incorporating them into a workout routine can contribute to fat loss and improved body composition.
- Functional Strength: Clap push-ups are a functional exercise that mimics real-life movements involving pushing and explosive upper body actions.
- Mental Toughness: Successfully performing clap push-ups requires mental focus, determination, and confidence. It can be a rewarding exercise that boosts your mental toughness and self-esteem.
Note: Clap push-ups are a challenging exercise that requires strength, speed, and coordination. They are effective for building explosive upper body power and improving your push-up performance. Due to their high intensity and potential for injury if not executed correctly, it’s important to ensure you have a strong foundation in regular push-ups before attempting clap push-ups.
Clap Push-Up: Muscles Worked
Clap Push-up Variations
These variation exercises are all effective ways to stimulate and work similar muscle groups that the clap push-up would hit. Try adding these variations of the push-up into your training to keep workout fun and varied.