Plate Push Conditioning

Do you want a simple set up but extremely demanding exercise?  Do you want an exercise that will achieve a conditioning effect but have the abilities to produce muscular endurance and power?  If so, the Plate Push just might be an exercise you might want to try.

Plate Push

The Plate Push has the ability to do all this based off how the exercise is applied.  Before we get to all that; lets discuss the basic set up for the hands and body.

  • First, make sure the plate is set down with the smooth side down on the ground or floor.
  • Your hands will be places just slightly behind the mid line of the plate.
  • You will get down low just like a sprinter would who is ready to explode out of the starting blocks.
  • Position yourself behind the plate so that your shoulders are not over the plate but behind it.
  • Contract your core by pulling in your belly button towards your spine.  This is a draw-in technique and you should still be able to breath.
  • Lift your knees off the floor and you are ready to start pushing!

There are factors to be considered here which will determine the level of resistance.

  • How much of your body weight will you be pushing downward onto the plate.
  • Your surface area.  The plate will push much easier on a smooth surface and much harder on a surface like a rubber floor, carpet, or grass.
  • How much paint is on the smooth side of the plate.  A plate with a lot of paint will tend to feel tacky when pushing on a rubber floor verses a plate with very little paint on it.

If you are looking to use this exercise for conditioning purposes; I would suggest you know the distance you want to accomplish or set a time frame and see what distance you actually did accomplish.  You may find this is be much harder than you think depending on your level of muscular and cardiovascular endurance.

If you are looking for the exercise to produce power and explosion; you would want to define your distance such as 10-20 yards.  Then perform the plate push with as much intensity and power as possible for the set yardage, followed by a good rest period before going again.

Both of these techniques work great but I do want to point out that this is much harder than it looks and should be practiced before jumping right into a solid workout with it.

To your health,


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About Jerry Shreck

Division 1 Head Strength Coach at Bucknell University, Specialize In The Art of Injury Prevention Training Techniques God Loving Family Man (Wife-Trina & 2 daughters-Alexis & Aleyda)

8 Responses to “Plate Push Conditioning”

  1. Jerry,
    Great post. I use the plate push often, as well as my prowler (a friend made me a great prototype every bit as good as the original!) and use them both in my training and that of my athletes.
    I’m 60 years old (61 on Dec. 30) and love to train. I’m also a Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetic for 48 years! An athlete all my life and definitely do not contribute to Zach Even-Esh’s description of the “Pussification of America.”
    Thanks for all the great posts and, oh yeah, get rid of the stuff around your face. It doesn’t suit you. Tee hee.

    • Stephen,
      The prowler kicks ass….literally! I am glad you like the posts. I have been sharing my thoughts about training and information for years with anyone interested. Zach is one crazy brother and one hell of a good guy! If there is ever a topic you would like me to cover just let me know. Don’t ever stop training brother!

      PS-That stuff around my face comes and goes, usually because I am to lazy to shave!

  2. Nice post. The plate push has been around longer than kettlebells even. It is too hard for most and so it gets pushed aside for prettier exercises like leg extensions or calf raises. Get in there and challenge someone to find out if they can handle it when “it” gets tough! This is definitely a great finisher too. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi thanks for your videos! I’m actually a college athlete myself (soccer) and had a question for you about plate pushes:
    Is there a way to lighten the load placed on the thighs/hip flexors?

    I’m an avid runner and I work out a ton outside of practice to keep my speed and endurance up, but I have problems in the weightroom due almost entirely to having extremely tight tendons/ligaments. I actually can’t think of one sports injury I’ve ever gotten that didn’t tie back to them.

    My strength coach loves sleds (I have to get a wide stance like with my squats but I manage fine), Prowlers (uses more of the body), but also plate pushes, aka the bane of my existence haha

    I’m pretty noticeably the worst on my team at doing these and I hate the feeling of failing in practice, so basically is there any technique modifications/things I should keep in mind that would help to use more of my body, or at least ease the burden off of my upper legs?

    • Lexi,
      My guess is you have very tight hip flexors. I would recommend a very aggressive stretching regimen. I am currently about to post on this very topic. Please check it out and work on those stretches. See if you find improvement after 2-4 weeks of doing the stretches.

  4. Jerry, my gym is not wide enough to perform plate push, is there any other exercise that i can do to replace it? thanks…

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