A few months back, Coach TBear did some testing and got his physics notes out to solve how much force you're placing through your hands when completing various levels of elevated push-ups.

Coach TBear took into account various assumptions such as:

  1. A body’s center of mass in relation to your foot pivot point and hand pressing position.  (Internet puts the female ratio at .548 and .560 for males)
  2. You must assume the body is a rigid lever arm.
  3. The pressing force is perpendicular to the plane of the body
  4. The hands are placed under the shoulders at mid ribcage (like the graphic)
  5. The CoM for the foot pivot is behind the toes in the straight position. Approx. 10cm/4inches.  As long as the body does not change shape or weight distribution. And you could understand this, as we stand straighter and straighter up to a standing position.

At, 5-8” - 180 lbs, a floor push-up for TBear is a 140lb press at the bottom.

That transfers to a:

8” box – I’ll press 9lbs less
12” box  - 12lbs less
16” box – 18lbs less
20” box – 22lbs less
24” box – 30lbs less
30” box – 40lbs less

We can also roughly conclude:

A freestanding handstand push-up would be pressing your full 100%BW. And the following table can give you the percentage of bodyweight you're pushing at various heights.  Note that you’ll be pushing slightly less if your shorter and slightly more if you're taller, given the cosine (angle of incline)

Position - Rough % of Body Weight being pushed
HSPU - 100%
Floor - 78%
8” Box - 75%
12” Box - 72%
16” Box - 69%
20” Box - 66%
24” Box - 60%
30” Box - 50% 



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