Yes, a bodyweight exercise is superior to bench pressing a stack of weights. For one, most people are needlessly bad at groundwork (calisthenics and bodyweight training) because they haven't trained their muscles to work together and lack functional trunk strength. If you can match your body’s weight on the bench for reps but struggle to do 15 push-ups with good form, you should change your training focus. The bench press pins the shoulder blades to the bench. This immobility of the shoulder blades actually makes for an unhealthy environment for the entire shoulder capsule since in an ideal world, there should be movement at the shoulder blade as the arm moves (get a more thorough explanation here). Using a full-range-of-motion push-up can solve this problem, and engage plenty of core muscles to boot.
Program It: Start or end your workouts with three to five sets of maximum repetitions.
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