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Performing Solid Push Ups

The truth must be told. If you are overweight, it's going to be much harder for you to performsolid push ups (or anything else for that matter). If you have been having trouble with them for a while, look no farther than the scale,your plate, and yourdrinking handfor some answers. Be honest with yourself.

Maintain a Neutral Spine Throughout the Movement

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This might be the most important aspect of performing a good push up. If you look at the picture above, notice that the dowel rod maintains three points of contact: the back ofthe head, betweenthe shoulder blades, and sacrum. I also engage the anterior core and squeeze the glutes to create minimal space between the lumbar spine and the dowel rod. Notice I maintain this position the entire way to the floor. Maintaining a neutral spine ensures that the load is equally shared throughout the entire body so stress is not placed on passive structures. This allows prime movers and stabilizers to do their respective jobs.

Humerus At 45 Degrees of Abduction

Placing the upper arm and elbow at 45 degrees relative to the torso on the descentplacesthe shoulder in the scapular plane. This is the bestpositionforefficientand pain free pressing.

Retract the Scapulae During the Descent

The scapulae should "glide around the rib cage" during the movement. Focus on bringing the shoulder blades together on the descent while maintaining neutral alignment throughout. I cue my clients to think "chest first" to ensure this happens.

Push the Chest Away from the Floor at the Top of Every Rep

Emphasizing pressing the chest away from the floor at the top (scapular protraction) will help engage the often neglected serratus anterior muscle, which is good for overall shoulder health.

Push Up Progressions

Below I willcover some progressions you can use if you are having trouble performing perfect push ups. Make sure to include plenty of core work in your program as well. My favorites to improve the push up are Planks, Side Planks, and PUP Walkouts.

*A quick note on push ups done on the knees: They will dolittle to improve real push ups. You need to practice movements specific to the skill you areattemptingto acquire. Use the progressions outlined below.

#1 Hands Elevated

This is where to begin if you are unable to do regular push ups according to the points outlined above. Simply find an elevated surface to place your hands on and get to it.

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Posted in Dentistry Post Date 10/25/2018


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