Plate Push

How To Do A Plate Push
By Alli McKeeMarch 1, 2016

Plate Push Exercise

The plate push is a similar exercise to the Prowler sled, and is a great alternative if you don’t have something like a prowler or sled to push. This exercise gives you a huge bang for your buck, and helps you develop strength or power (depending on how you use it), improve your conditioning, add muscle, and it is a great tool for fat loss. The plate push is one of many fantastic weight conditioning exercises you can use to achieve a wide array of goals.

Equipment needed:

You need a weight plate, and a slippery surface like a rug, turf, or grass to perform this exercise. You can also put the plate on a towel so it will slide.

Ability level:


Beginner lifters should start out with a minimal amount of weight, and should only add additional resistance once they have mastered proper form.


Intermediate lifters who have mastered the plate push can add more resistance, can increase their speed, can increase their overall distance, and can perform more repetitions. Intermediate lifters can perform the plate push as part of a conditioning circuit that is made up of strength and conditioning exercises, they can pair it with an upper body or lower body exercise, or they can use it to warm up their body before they perform heavier compound exercises. They can also perform it on its own as an intense conditioning workout.


Women of an advanced fitness level can perform the plate plus the same as intermediate lifters, but can add more resistance, can increase their speed, can increase their overall distance, and can perform more repetitions.

Benefits of Plate Pushes:

How a woman chooses to use a plate push is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much weight is being used, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general, plate pushes can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • Improving strength, power, and speed
  • Adding muscle
  • Improving sports specific conditioning
  • Developing a variety of movement patterns
  • Losing fat
  • One more important benefit is that the plate push requires minimal recovery time with lower risk of injury as it is concentric in nature

How to perform a Plate Push:

  • Get into a push-up position, and place your hands on a weight plate.
  • Your body should be in a straight line from your head to heels, and your spine should be in neutral alignment.
  • Before you go, take a deep breath in through your nose, brace your core, actively tuck your ribs towards your hips, and drive the plate forward using your legs.
  • Keep your shoulders packed, and keep your shoulder blades drawn together and down. You can pretend that you are trying to tuck each one into the opposite back pocket of your pants.
  • For the duration of the exercise, there should be minimal movement occurring in your torso, spine, and hips. Do not allow your torso, spine or hips to twist, and do not allow your lower back to hyperextend, or ribcage to flare. Maintaining neutral spinal alignment, and keeping your core braced is crucial to your performance, and health.
  • Do not allow your knees to collapse in or fall out.
  • Make sure you press through all of your toes, particularly your big and baby toes. This will give you more stability, and a better ability to perform this exercise.
  • Use a weight that allows you to achieve all of the above.

Video Transcription: 

This is a plate push. A plate push is a great alternative if you don't have something like a prowler or sled to push. Now it also depends on what kind of plates you have and what kind of surface you have. The rubber plates on the turf works really well, if you don't have them you can always wrap plates in a towel or put a towel underneath them, push them along a basketball court.... Some plates slide well on grass, so you probably have to play around with it a little bit.

But a plate push is really easy. You kind of get in a push-up position on the plate and you just push it forward. It’s definitely deceiving, depending on the material of the plate and the material of the surface it can be a lot harder than it seems. So start light and work up from there, just get into a nice push-up position, and push it forward just like that. That’s a plate push


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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at

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