RTS Coaching – The Breathing Push-up


At this point, we all know that push-ups rock.

They train the serratus anterior, strengthen the rotator cuff, and tie the upper and lower body together.

So how do we take an awesome exercise and make it even more awesome (and a lot more challenging)?

Simple – we add focused breathing into the equation.

Below is a short tutorial on the breathing push-up, and why you should give it a run in your programming.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  1. Think about reaching long at the top. Other stuff that may work is to “push the body away from the floor,” or to “open up the area in between the shoulder blades.”
  2. Once you’ve got your reach, inhale and breathe into the upper back.
  3. Now, exhale fully and get your abs turned on and locked in.
  4. Bang out a repetition, and then start the cycle again at the top position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, and curse my family name.

The breathing push-up may sound simple, but I guarantee you this exercise is a lot more challenging than it looks.

Give it a run and let me know what you think in the “Comments” section below. Thanks!

All the best


P.S. – Want more push-up goodness? This article covers everything you could ever want to know about push-ups and more. If nothing else, click over and bookmark it to review later!

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  1. So the correct push up technique involves performing the reps with empty lungs?

    You are all in with PRI, Mike Robertson.!

  2. Tony – It’s not necessarily “correct” technique – it’s just another option in the ever-growing arsenal of push-up variations.


  3. Love this variation. I often have programmed this with 1 scap push up, 1 breathing push up, 1 normal push up 4-6 times and the athletes love it. It also allows me to get what I want while they feel challenged and aren’t bored. Thanks Mike.

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