Depth-Drop Push-Up

by Developing Power
Kinetic Select October 2020


Developing Power brings an explosive take on the push-up and explains the technique behind the depth-drop push-up for upper body power development.

The following is an exclusive excerpt from the book Developing Power, published by Human Kinetics. All text and images provided by Human Kinetics.

Level: Advanced


  1. Begin at the bottom of the push-up position with hands on raised platforms (of equal height) that are placed on either side of the shoulders. Generally, the height of the blocks, platforms or sometimes bumper plates used is between two and six inches (5 – 15 cm) (figure 5.8a).
  2. Begin the movement by extending the arms.
  3. Move the hands off the platform and onto the floor (figure 5.8b).
  4. Explosively extend the arms so that the hands leave the ground (figure 5.8c) and land back on the platform.

The platform height varies depending on the intensity desired, experience, and the length of the athlete’s arms. Higher platforms will result in greater eccentric loading and are more appropriate for experienced athletes.

Depth-drop push-up in (a) start position, (b) at the end of countermovement, and (c) after the ballistic action.


  • Begin at the bottom position of the push-up, with hands on top of a medicine ball (in line with the upper chest) and the arms extended.
  • Move the hands from the ball to the floor (approximately shoulder-width apart) and perform a push-up to the level of the ball.
  • Explosively extend the arms so that the hands leave the ground and land back on the medicine ball.
  • Medicine ball height varies depending on intensity desired, experience, and arm length of the athlete.

With Developing Power, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has created the definitive resource for developing athletic power. With exercises and drills, assessments, analysis, and programming, this book will elevate power and performance in all sports. The book is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as online at the NSCA Store.

#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

has been added to your shopping cart!

Continue Shopping Checkout Now