How to Train for IPPT: Push Up

How can you get maximum points for your IPPT with minimum training? There aren’t any time-efficient, science-based IPPT guide around, so here’s the first part of our IPPT ‘Sports Science Simplified’ series focusing on push ups!


  1. When viewed from the top, your hands and your body should form an arrow shape. Researchers advise keeping hands less than 60 degrees away from your body and shoulder-width apart.
  2. Point your fingers forward or outward, and externally rotate your hands like you’re tearing a piece of paper on the floor. This helps you engage more muscles.
  3. Tuck your tailbone in, and straighten your knees.
  4. Actively pull the ground towards you so that you don’t need to reset your form every rep.

Assisted Push Ups

Utilise assisted push ups if you can’t do five reps (yet).

  1. Variations of assisted push ups: Knees on the ground, incline push ups, and bands at the hips.
  2. Once you can do five reps of an assisted push up, make a progression.
  3. Incline push ups

Getting Maximum Reps

  1. First, do a max rep test to determine your starting point.
  2. Do 3–5 sets of 80–90% effort at least twice a week.
  3. Rest 2–5 minutes between sets.
  4. Increase rep count per set for three weeks, then have a ‘deload’ week.
  5. Repeat the cycle of three weeks progress and one-week deload.


Scapular Kinematics and Shoulder Elevation in a Traditional Push-Up (David N Suprak Et Al.)

Comparison of Muscle Activation Using Various Hand Positions During the Push Up Exercise (Robert M. Cogley Et Al.)

Dynamic and Electromyographical Analysis in Variants of Push Up Exercise (Marina K. Gouvali Et Al.)

Elbow Load During Pushup at Various Forearm Rotations (Shu-Zon Lou Et Al.)

The Influence of Strength and Power on Muscle Endurance Test Performance (Fernando J. Naclerio Et Al.)

The Relationship Between the Number of Repetitions Performed at Given Intensities is Different in Endurance and Strength Trained Athletes (Richens. B Et Al.)

A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Resistance Training on Whole Body Muscle Growth in Healthy Adult Males (Pedro J. Benito Et Al.)

Effect of Push Up Speed on Elbow Joint Loading (Paul Pei-Hsi Chou Et Al.)

The Effect of Cadence on Muscular Activity and Performance During the Push-Up Exercise (Chris Pitsikoulis Et Al.)