Hand-Release Pushups & Why

I'll share a secret with you.....

I am kind of a hard-ass when it comes to performing movements properly. This is a good my opinion. My athletes may feel differently. Just know that it all comes a place of love.  

Movements like the air squat and push-up are seemingly very simple and don't require a lot of thought or effort. ("Seemingly" being the keyword. Hopefully you caught that.)

These movements are intricate and demand your respect and full effort. So to help you develop these foundational pieces, let's discuss the Hand-Release Push-up.


The HRPU is a movement that came about as a way to standardize the push-up so that it could be more easily judged in competition settings. This new standard worked well for it's intended purpose, but it also opened the door to a complete lack of body control. Athletes quickly discovered that as long as the ROM requirements were met, how it looked didn't matter. Watching athletes doing HRPUs looked more like a frat party where everyone was doing the worm. WTF?!?!

 Again, ease of judging was it's original purpose, but we can use this tool to eliminate one of the most neglected variables of push-ups: Full range of motion. In doing so, you must also reinforce the proper body position and activation(A) throughout the full ROM(B). See there? A & B, not A or B.

Listen. The push-up is not a push-up unless it's performed to the full standard of the push-up. This should be a very simple concept, but it seems as though people forget this fact when they claim that they can do absurd number of reps. Usually this mystery is solved when you see said super-stud perform his/her so-called push-ups. Again, reference the video above or the one below.

Ok. At this point we should all be on the same page and understand that we DO NOT want to be that guy or girl, right? I mean, who wants to be YouTube famous for shitty push-ups?!


For the entire month of April, the athletes of TCS will be doing HRPUs exclusively. My hopes are that this complete eradication of sub-standard movement will result in one and only one way of doing push-ups. The right way. 

Not only will we be honing in on full ROM, but as we discussed above, we will also dial in on a locked-down mid-line throughout the entire ROM. Again, the right way!

I invite any of you out there to join us in our little experiment this month and send us you feedback. Feel free to add more push-up volume into your programming this month if you want, but the real focus will be on the highest quality movement when they appear in your daily workout. Simple.


Coach Nyki Helmcamp has created Sigma Gymnastics - a fresh, new spin on the earliest form of strength training. This program provides 6 athletes the opportunity to take your training and body development to another level! Beginning in January 2015, Nyki will be opening Sigma Gymnastics right here at Travis County Strength.

What existed as the premiere form of strength training before all the iron and innovative products hit the scene was straight up bodyweight strength. To develop supreme bodyweight strength is to develop ultimate brawn and vitality, grip, stamina, tendon and joint strength, balance, coordination, inhuman discipline and grit as well as control.

Using Mother Nature’s perfect level of resistance, our own bodyweight, we will progressively apply principles to become stronger by manipulating positions and adjusting leverage points. There is no individual who is either too weak nor too strong to begin this program and that is the beauty. Where ever you are in your training there is progress to be made with this program!

You will find more details in the following weeks here, as well as on Coach Nyki Helmcamp's blog -

Get Ready to PLAY!