Push-up technique workshop – but you say you’ve mastered it from the sheer number of times and amount of years that you have been doing them – what if i told you that you have been doing them incorrectly? “Blasphemy!” You say. “I go all the way to the floor and i feel it in my chest, my form is great!”
Well that’s what i thought too, until i got schooled and learned how i should really be performing them. It sent me straight back to square 1, i couldn’t even string together 5 full push-ups, BUT it was the best experience ever as i learnt how to move better with better technique and re-develop my push-up strength. And now have a pretty strong rep range of about 15-20.
So how exactly should you be performing push-ups?
1. Chest out – harder than it sounds. Most of us have weak scapular stabilizers and tight pecs (sitting, computer, driving). Getting your chest out properly at the floor, you must drive your scapula together and down to put them in the best position to do their job during the push movement.
2. Retraction and protraction – when you go to the bottom of the push up, your scapula should “come together” (as above) and when you push yourself up they should “come apart.”
3. Low back neutral – biggest issue for the push-up! Everyone thinks they are keeping their core tight, but in truth they probably arent. Get a video of yourself doing a push up from the side to get a visual of what you actually look like. You need to brace your midsection like you are about to be punched in the stomach and keep it that way through the entire movement, which makes the push up one of the best core strengthening exercises!
4. Glutes tight – you should be squeezing your glutes like you are holding a $1 million dollar bill in there! This stabilises your core and pelvis.
5. Elbows at 45 degrees and full range of motion (ROM) – ok this one might be preaching to the choir, but i need to cover my bases. Lining your elbows up with your shoulders at 90 degrees is stressful on the shoulders, sending them out more around 45 degrees will allow your shoulders to work safely and more effectively.
If you aren’t getting full range of motion, then you’re just kidding yourself. Start on an incline and slowly decrease as you develop the full range, until you reach the floor.
Keep in mind, if you try to implement all of these tips at once, there is a good chance you will have to do push-ups on the incline for a while, there is no shame in that. Check your ego at the door and learn how to do a perfect push up.
Be fit. Stay Collective.