Training Tip Tuesday: The Push-Up

Let’s talk about the push-up today

This is one of those movements that you see everyone do, and only a very, very small margin are doing them properly (read: effectively).

We see hands too far forward, elbows too far out. Hips dropping down, pelvises slamming against the ground. We see variations of The Worm.

Executing a “perfect” push-up will have you using about 70% of your total body weight. It’s also done are more of a rotational movement (and not linear as some say). And, all while you’re doing this, you’re recruting, from your head down to your
toes, a coordinated intense motor unit.

What? This is gibberish. You’re not making any sense here…

Here’s the take away:

Your feet become the pivot point of this movement. As your body moves, it’s going to rotate in a semi-circular way as you lead your body upwards and downwards. In turn, you’re moving more than half of your body weight. Which, is what you should
be doing.

Set up

Hands: Fingers forward, cupped – not flat. You actually see cupped hands often with handstands, and yoga poses that require balancing on hands. Think like you’re grabbing at the ground. Hands should also be behind your shoulders, not parallel
or ahead. 

Shoulders: Pulled away from ears, rotated back. This will naturally bring your chest outwards.

Elbows: Best positioning is just slightly outward from the sides of your body (around 10 degrees). If your shoulders are in proper position, the best positioning will occur naturally. If you find that your elbows are still flaring out, work on
your shoulder positioning more (they could be tight and need loosening).

Neck: Tall and neutral through the spine. Looking ahead is better than packing your head and chin.

Hips: Don’t let them drop or sag, or stack them in a parallel line. High is better than low. And DON’T squeeze your glutes.

Spine/and hips: Hollow your stomach (bring it in). It will elongate your spine, prevent excessive pelvic tilt, and bring you naturally to a more neutral spine.

Feet: On your toes (literally).

When executed properly, only your upper most extremities (chest) will come close to touching, or actually touch the floor (or in my case today, the bloated belly from the abundance of pasta I’ve consumed).

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