by: Brandon Richey–Get Free Updates And Training Guides Here
The Declaration Of The Push Up…
The Declaration Of The Push Up…
I titled this post The Declaration Of The Push Up because this exercise and all its variations are one of the best means to acquiring a tremendous level of strength, total body control, joint stability, and overall fitness. A push up can be as valuable to an athlete as the bat he uses to play a game of baseball, his helmet for football, or for a fighter’s gloves to step into the ring. It should be part of an athlete’s regular training cycle if you ask me and even if you don’t ask me it still should be part of an athlete’s regular training cycle.
So What’s So Special About The Push Up?
For starters the push up is a closed kinetic chain exercise. In other words, when performing it you are fixed in a position to where the distal segments of the body parts involved in the movement (in this case the hands and feet) cannot move the surface (in most cases the ground). This is important because it allows forces to be placed across the body such that you are having to stabilize and control your weight in order to pull it off.
You have heard me talk about shoulder health on a number of occasions and part of having good shoulder health is being able to properly perform a standard push up by creating rigidity throughout the body and stabilizing the scapula (shoulder blades) when descending down into the push up exercise. How many times have you watched someone descend into a push up and start to allow their head to sink towards the ground before their chest does? This mistake sort of resembles a rooster bobbing his head.
This is why I refer to this phenomenon is as roostering. It’s when the head sinks towards the floor because the push up participant is failing to stabilize his or her scapula during the descent. It’s a nasty habit that much of the population tends to fall victim to unless they are influenced by some solid correction and some quality practice advised from a professional.
The good news is that it’s rather easy to correct. The key is to work to maintain rigidity throughout the body and to think of lowering the body as a unit by not emphasizing leading with the head, the hips, or the knees. The body should be tight like a bridge and be able to descend and ascend in that very same position. One way to properly set this up is that when you are in the upright push up position make sure to tighten your chest and to squeeze the ground with your hands as if you are palming a giant basketball.
Part of being a better athlete is being able to contract the necessary muscles to perform key movements in a split second. You can vary your push ups to do this very thing by performing more dynamic versions of push ups such as plyometric push ups, rotational “T” push ups, or from more advanced one arm push up drills. As you practice and approach mastery you will start to understand this concept better and better.
Start practicing to master your push ups by following the rules of stability. Are you stable in your push ups. Do you lead with your head or hips when descending in the push up? Let me know what you think by posting up in the comment box below. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend.