Lesson 4: Push-ups

This week we delve into everybody’s favorite topic: push-ups. So much can be learned from them. The strength that comes, especially the relaxed strength that come from doing push-ups with minimum tension, is a great result. But the really great thing about doing push-ups is they’re just hard enough, just unpleasant enough, just pressure enough to be an excellent stimulus for studying yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your fears and desires.

In training, we do this with strikes too, of course. But while socially distancing, it’s hard to find somebody who can give you good strikes, the kind that allow you study yourself in this way. However, all that same work can be done with a push-up, and in a way that is self-regulating.

The self-regulating part is good and bad. One the one hand, you don’t have to deal with your partner’s clumsy strikes or somebody not giving enough or giving what you think is too much. On the other hand, you don’t have to deal with these things, which are good challenges themselves.

So when doing push-ups, think about the training like taking strikes. Mostly work on technique at an easy to moderate level. Learn to coordinate breathing, manage tension, and study your mind’s reaction to the work. Once you have some proficiency in doing this, you have to push yourself, do a really hard push-up! Or set of push-ups. This is like the deeper strike that takes you to another level, a deeper place, where the training becomes quite intense.

The challenge for you is to learn how to challenge yourself deeply in this way.

Click here to see the complete Push-ups lesson, or click on any of the lesson’s below to catch up.


preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice


About Matthew Lowes

Matthew Lowes is a writer, a game designer, and a martial arts instructor. Visit matthewlowes.com to learn more about his work. View all posts by Matthew Lowes

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