Maximize your push up effectiveness with this short write up.
Master the Push Up
THE BENEFITS OF PERFORMING PUSH UPS
1) A movement that requires great core stabilization.
2) Is extremely effective for activating the pec and triceps muscles which in turn increases your overall strength (click for the benefits of increasing your strength).
3) Strengthens the pecs which in turn creates a more stable shoulder (and a shoulder less prone to injury).
4) Can be used as a diagnostic tool to assess the mobility and strength of the shoulders, elbows, and wrist.
HOW TO PERFORM THE PERFECT PUSH UP
The perfect push up is a push up that includes good spinal bracing and a stable shoulder position which creates a mechanically powerful (and safe) platform.
STEP BY STEP FORM FOR THE PERFECT PUSH UP
1) From a kneeling position set hands shoulder width apart with fingers straight ahead.
2) Straighten out your legs and keep your feet together in a plank position. Note: Having the legs together maximizes glute activation and tension in your trunk.
3) Turn the pits of your elbows out to create torque. Creating torque maximizes muscle tension and shoulder stabilization. This technique sometimes referred to as 'screwing your arms into the ground'.
4) Lower your body towards the ground keeping your forearms vertical, but squeezed and belly tight.
5) Press out from the bottom position. Make sure there is no change in your spinal position. Back should be flat the whole way through.
6) While extended at the top, do a mental check to make sure your arms are still screwed into the ground.
If you find you're having a hard time keeping your forearms vertical it could be one of two things:
1) A lack of shoulder internal or external rotation.
2) A lack of strength in the triceps or pecs.
1) Get stronger by performing push ups on a higher surface such as a chair, box or wall.
2) Increase your shoulder internal or external rotation (maybe this how-to will be my next blog).