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What Are Mike Tyson Push-Ups? A Guide to This Explosive Exercise



Mecca V.I.P.
Dec 2, 2023
Mike Tyson became a global icon for his knockout punches and intense training regimen, which was as unique as it was grueling. Among his exercises, the Mike Tyson Push-Up stands out for its sheer intensity and effectiveness.

This advanced push-up variation goes beyond the standard chest press, pushing your limits and sculpting a physique ready for anything.

Defining the Mike Tyson Push-up

The Mike Tyson push-up is an advanced version that combines the loaded beast exercise with a push-up. This plyometric movement engages your chest, triceps, legs, core, and shoulders, creating a more comprehensive workout.

While a standard push-up focuses on building chest strength, the Mike Tyson Push-up also works on the lower body.

The exercise's explosive nature helps build power, which can benefit activities like sprinting, jumping, and throwing. It works for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, improving overall strength and conditioning. By developing power and full-body coordination, the Mike Tyson Push-up can potentially translate to better performance in various athletic activities.

Step-by-Step Technique

Once you gain strength, you can perform this exercise with your feet flat against a wall for initial support or progress to a freestanding variation. Begin in a high plank position with hands shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and back flat. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.

Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and push your hips back and down towards the wall (if using) as if performing a deep squat. Imagine sitting in a chair on a horizontal plane.

When you do the explosive push, reverse the downward motion by explosively driving your legs forward and upward, using them to propel your body toward the starting plank position. As you propel yourself forward, immediately transition into a controlled descent, lowering your chest towards the floor for the push-up.

Maintain a flat back and tight core throughout the descent. Once your chest nears the floor, perform an explosive push-up, driving your body upwards with power.

Extend your arms at the top of the push-up, but avoid hyperextending. Immediately transition back into the starting high plank position with feet on the wall (or free-standing) and repeat the entire sequence for your desired number of repetitions.

Variations and Progressions

Beginners can find a sturdy incline platform like a step or exercise bench. Place your hands on the platform and perform the Mike Tyson Push-up with your feet on the ground. This variation is less demanding on your shoulders while providing a full-body challenge.

Another variation for beginners is the reduced range of motion push-ups. Instead of a full push-up to the floor, perform the exercise on an elevated surface like a bench or sturdy box. It reduces the distance you need to lower your chest, making it easier on your shoulders and chest.

There are also harder variations for increased intensity. The single-leg Mike Tyson push-up requires exceptional balance and core strength. Perform it with one leg lifted off the ground throughout the movement. Alternate legs with each repetition or focus on one leg at a time for targeted development.

Another advanced variation is the weighted Mike Tyson push-ups. Add a plyometric element at the top of the push-up for an extra burst of power. After explosively pushing yourself off the floor, briefly clap your hands together before lowering back into the push-up position.
Muscle Groups Worked

The Mike Tyson Push-up isn't your average chest press. This advanced exercise transforms a standard push-up into a full-body assault, building explosive power and strength across multiple muscle groups.

While the primary targets are your chest muscles, triceps, shoulders, and core, the movement doesn't stop there. The launch phase heavily engages your legs, specifically your quads, hamstrings, and calves, for a powerful push off the ground.

Even your back muscles get a brief activation during the pulling motion of the launch. This multi-joint exercise creates a strong core-to-body connection, crucial for maintaining stability and maximizing power transfer throughout the movement.

Incorporating into Your Workouts

Taming the Mike Tyson Push-up requires a smart approach. Beginners should start slow, focusing on proper form with just a few repetitions. Start with 1-2 sets of 3-5 repetitions, focusing on proper form over quantity. As strength builds, gradually increase the number of sets and reps.

For seasoned exercisers, the challenge lies in pushing reps higher or exploring advanced variations. Challenge yourself with 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

No matter your level, always prioritize a proper warm-up with light cardio and dynamic stretches to prep your muscles for explosive movements. Light cardio, such as jumping jacks or jogging, followed by dynamic stretches like arm circles and shoulder rolls, will prepare your body for explosive movements.

The beauty of the Mike Tyson Push-up is its versatility. You can integrate it into various routines: pair it with pushing exercises like bench press for a complete upper body workout, combine it with jump squats for an explosive power session, or use it as a high-intensity exercise within your HIIT routine for a calorie-burning challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mike Tyson Push-ups hard?

Yes, Mike Tyson Push-ups are an advanced exercise that requires good upper body strength, core stability, and explosive power.

How often should I do Mike Tyson Push-ups?

The frequency depends on your fitness level. Beginners should start with 1-2 sets of a few repetitions, while advanced exercisers can aim for 3-4 sets with higher reps. Always prioritize proper form and listen to your body.

What muscles do Mike Tyson Push-ups work?

Mike Tyson Push-ups target your chest, triceps, shoulders, and core. They also engage your legs (quads, hamstrings, calves) and back muscles to a lesser extent.


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