Didn’t think it could get much worse, this quarantine, pandemic, global crisis.

Then I saw some of y’alls push up challenges on social media and ….  it got worse.

First of all, I’m not doing the push up challenges because

  1. I don’t wanna.  
  2. I’m not good at push ups and my form sucks. I won’t go into detail here, but I know my limitations and feel it’s a good idea for others to start being honest about theirs.

So let’s chat about how push ups.

Push Ups are not just laying face down, bending your arms and pushing your shoulders off the ground.There’s a lot more that goes into performing a push up correctly, safely and effectively.

Start with positioning:

Your body should resemble being a rigid plank of wood. A plank of wood does not bench (at least much, visibly) under light load.You should be able to maintain this plank like posture during a push up.

Elbows are like door hinges and shoulders, well, they’re a ball and socket joint (surprise). The are what is moving.  If anything but these (say lumbar spine, hips or knees….  or neck – ugh, this one!) is moving, you need to back up and start from ground zero.

To do a push up well, one must have not only have pectoral, shoulder and triceps strength but core strength; he ability to maintain a rigid form by isometrically holding the body without unnecessary or undesired movement at any non useful point.

Some of these videos I’ve seen have absolutely NO core or abdominal strength.  It shows.

The only movement should be around the shoulder and elbows. The rest of your body – make like wood.

Suggestions to improve:

More core work. Side Planks (watch yourself in the mirror until you can maintain a straight line and push your shoulder into the ground to push your body up).  Planks, Renegade Planks, Bird Dogs, Paloff Presses, Chaos Paloff Presses, Pull Ups, Partial Push UPs with proper and form.

Push Ups on an incline, slowly working your way down to the floor.  If you can’t maintain that rigidity in your torso – shoulders through ankles – don’t move lower until you can.  

Sheer strength does not always get the job done.  

the wider your hand placement – more pectoral major work will be done.

The more narrow placement with demand more  anterior deltoid & triceps involvement.

I hope, most of all, that we aren’t promoting movement just to promote unnecessary and sloppy movement.  Movement without purpose can cause injury and that is just not something we can risk the days.  Let’s back up, work on what we’re doing, then hit the 10 push up challenges.

All for making this quarantine better here folks.  Isolation seems to be a good time to work on some isolation and these push ups….  let’s make push ups great again!

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