Paused Push Up Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Bodyweight
  • Compound
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Intermediate
  • Abs, Shoulders, Triceps
Chest Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Paused Push Up Overview

The paused push up is a push up variation and an exercise used to target the pushing muscles of the upper body.

The isometric pause at the bottom of the paused push up increases the time under tension. For this reason, the paused push up is an excellent progression from the push up.

Paused Push Up Instructions

  1. Assume a quadruped position on the floor with your hands under your shoulders, toes tucked, and knees under hips.
  2. Extend one leg at a time and assume a push up position with the legs straight, elbows extended, and head in a neutral position looking at the floor.
  3. Slowly descend to the floor by retracting the shoulder blades and unlocking the elbows.
  4. Descend until the upper arms are parallel or your chest touches the floor and hold the bottom position for a set amount of time.
  5. Push back to the starting point by extending the elbows and driving your palms into the floor.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Paused Push Up Tips

  1. Utilizing pauses increasing the time under tension during the movement so this would be a simple way to progress a regular pushup.
  2. Your arms should resemble an arrow in the bottom position, not a “T”.
  3. Your spine should remain rigid throughout the entire exercise, think of the push up as a moving plank.
  4. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs before descending to keep the ribcage neutral.
  5. Keep the chin down and don’t look forward.
  6. Imagine you’re trying to push your thumbs together while completing the movement, this will improve activation of the pecs.
  7. Don’t allow the head to jut forward, the chest should touch at the same time as your nose.
  8. Think about trying to push yourself as far away from the floor as possible.
    • Ensure you push all the way through the floor at the top of the repetition and allow your shoulder blades to move around your ribcage.
    • Most folks cut the repetition short and don’t garner the full benefits.