If you have been to the gym there is a good chance you have done (or attempted) a push-up. It’s often one of those exercises as a coach many people will come to you and use as the measuring stick of their success. Besides that the push-up fundamentally is a great exercise, it challenges us on many levels. The issue for many people is poor form, As a coach for 10 years I have seen this exercise done very poorly more than any other exercise and don’t be fooled by thinking it cant cause injury. Today for Movement Monday, take a read (watch our video) and learn about how this great exercise can be utilised into your training program.
How to do Push ups
- To begin position yourself in a high plank with your hands just outside of shoulder width apart and in line with your chest. Set your feet up in a position comfortable for you (closer together the more challenged your stability will be). If you struggle to hold this position in a straight line done progress any further, practice holding this position for 30-60 seconds while incorporating other chest focused exercises to strengthen the muscle.
- Keep your body as one straight line and lower yourself down somewhere close to 90 degree flexion of the elbow. The safe range is going to vary for every individual based on stability and mobility of the joint.
- If your struggling to maintain your straight line try keeping the gaze of your eyes looking slightly ahead without sticking your chin down or dropping your head. Im to engage your thighs and glutes by squeezing them tightly and externally turn your hands into the floor to create tension in the shoulder joint.
- For many people the flare the shoulders as they fatigue, if and when this occurs try to correct or end your set (see in picture)
Remember if in doubt regress and master your form. For a beginner push up watch our video
Push up Benefits
One of the great things I love about push ups is for people we work with every day mums, dads, busy professionals the push up is challenging in and off its own. Many people really struggle to move through a tempo push up holding good form. The downfall is it’s a difficult exercise to load with weight but dont let that deter you, there are a number of variations for those looking to be challenged for example the yoga push up, raised feet push up, or a thera-band push up to name a few. Another benefit is you can do them anywhere, anytime, doesn’t matter if your in a away for work in a hotel, got your children and cant make the gym or can’t get a piece of equipment in the gym.
What Muscles Are Used During Push Up’s
Contrary to popular belief the chest is not the only muscle involved in push up’s, yes it is an important one but you will be using your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core (ab’s). Want to make those muscles work harder? As previously mentioned its a difficult exercise to load with weight so we can make it difficult by using slow tempo’s even incorporating pauses, What this means is I would take 3 seconds to go down, hold for 2 seconds, and push for 2 seconds that means 10 reps might take me 60 seconds making this a challenging set of push ups for those that think push ups are too easy.
This movement Monday was created by Authentic Health head coach Chris, if you liked it or have any questions drop us a comment below and we will respond as soon as possible.
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