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Coach Sommer

Wheels - A Dynamic Pushup

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Coach Sommer

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A common mistake made by many coaches and athletes is the unbridled pursuit of unlimited amounts of maximal strength. This widespread misconception for pursing maximal strength as though it were the holy grail of all things athletic is understandable; increasing maximal strength is quite easy to measure and ego-wise is enormously satisfying. Yes, it is absolutely true that a solid foundation of maximal strength is required for athletic success upon the field of play and should be vigorously pursued in a manner that is supportive of your given sport. However, pursued past a necessary optimal surplus, continuing to focus on increasing maximal strength as the primary conditioning goal will have serious deleterious effects on athletic performance in sports where agility and coordination are essential elements. Increased reaction time, reduced range of motion, loss of speed etc. are all symptoms of maximal strength pursued too far.

Once an optimal surplus of maximal strength has been achieved, the primary focus should now shift to expressing that maximal strength explosively. Wheels are one such exercise to aid in that transference.

Wheels are essentially a hopping pushup. They may be done either in a stationary manner or traveling. If traveling, I have found that a frisbee placed under the feet works well to aid in sliding and reducing friction upon the balls of the feet. To execute a wheel, begin from a standard pushup position with arms straight and back flat. Lower into the pushup until the chest nearly touches the floor and then explode into the air circling the arms backward through a complete 180 degree arc. The arms should be straight and the circle as large as your present range of motion allows. The circling motion should also be done as rapidly as possible to avoid landing on areas that you would prefer to remain intact :shock:. Do not catch and pause, but strive to immediately go into the next repetition. This plyometic landing adds dramatically to the overall efficacy of this movement.

I prefer to perform wheels either for time (30 to 60 seconds) or distance (20' to 40'). Whether for time or distance, strict form and correct execution must be maintained during all repetitions. If the circle of the arc is abbreviated; start over. If piking the hips during the upward hop; start over. If not maintaining a flat back; start over. If not descending low enough; start over. If pausing in between reps; start over. Basically you begin to get the picture; if it is not perfect, start over.

If unable to correctly perform wheels for either your chosen time frame or distance, limit yourself to spending 10 minutes working on this movement. Try to avoid excessive resting, but feel free to take what you need in order to perform at your best. When doing explosive work, adequate rest between efforts is essential.

It should be noted that the demonstrating athlete's hips in the video above are at times slightly too piked, but overall he provides a solid example of correct execution. He especially does a good job of not pausing between repetitions.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Edward Smith

Coach what would you classify as an optimal surplus of strength?

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EagleScout316

This exercise is even sweeter when you strap a power wheel to your feet.

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coachnate
This exercise is even sweeter when you strap a power wheel to your feet.

Anyone have a video of strapping a wheel to your feet? I'm curious as to how this is done... I could imagine a few ways, I'm sure... but I'm not too sure that it would work properly. Any suggestions? :?:

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Adrien Godet

"Aztec" push-ups are also explosive and challenging

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JoeS
This exercise is even sweeter when you strap a power wheel to your feet.

Anyone have a video of strapping a wheel to your feet? I'm curious as to how this is done... I could imagine a few ways, I'm sure... but I'm not too sure that it would work properly. Any suggestions? :?:

This is the power wheel he's talking about:

Power Wheel

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