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Are You “Roostering” Your Push Ups???

Are You “Roostering” Your Push Ups???

by: Brandon Richey

Are You “Roostering” Your Push Ups???

So today I decided to throw in a quick post regarding the push up exercise. Lately I’ve been getting hammered with emails regarding questions on training and the following is one that I got from Jon. Yes, that’s “Jon” without the “h”. 

Jon asked “Coach Brandon, when doing my push ups I feel like something may be off. Some of my friends have pointed out that I’m doing them too fast and that my form looks off. Do you have any nuggets of information that may help me figure out the problem?” Well, Jon today is your lucky day my friend. Keep on reading to find out! 

Are You Roostering When You Do Your Push Ups?

So over the years I’ve trained hundreds of athletes and serious fitness personnel. With all of the hours of training time logged I have from time to time witnessed the push up exercise being butchered by an attempting novice worse than most any victim in a Friday 13th horror movie.

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Yes, there have been some bad push ups to poison my eyeballs every now and then. Nevertheless this is still  ok, because it allows guys and girls like me to do what we do for a living. However it still doesn’t remove the fact that I still get horrified when seeing someone butcher most any exercise, especially the push up. I just can’t resist the urge to immediately want to jump in to help. 

When looking at this exercise there are a couple of factors that come to mind when evaluating one’s technique. For instance, many people tend to have a lack in both core and shoulder scapula stability. Because of this they tend to fall into the normal trap that I have come to describe with a colorful adjective known as “roostering.” Check this out to see if you are guilty of doing the same. 

Now you can see just what I’m talking about with the demonstration and if you’re a coach or trainer this probably looks very familiar to you. I’m sure you’ve seen this when watching some folks attempt the ‘ole push up exercise. The key is just making sure to work at correcting it as soon as possible. Sometimes an adjustment in intensity by performing it with less weight distributed towards the upper body is necessary until the trainee can develop enough core/scapula stability and pushing strength to pull off the move. 

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The benefit of doing it right can be immediately felt and noticed by the trainee once the adjustment is made. The act of maintaining rigidity and having the trainee to physically “feel” the body integrate into this adjustment usually causes their faces to express that familiar “Ah Ha, the lightbulb is going off” kinda of look we all love to see. From there it’s all progress. 

Make sure that you take the time to evaluate yourself in this move and other basic movements to ensure optimal benefits in your strength training program. So many people neglect the finer details thinking that they are doing certain drills correctly never realizing just how “off” they are with their technique and with their potential in making progress. 

If you enjoyed today’s post please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comment box below this article. Jon, thanks again for yours! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Stop roostering and start your smart training today! 

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Are You “Roostering” Your Push Ups???



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Good, informative, piece that hits the common technique defects. Planks represent an excellent corrective exercise in pursuit of quality push-ups. Quality is job 1 with quantity being the next logical link in progressive exercise.

    1. Thanks Doc! Yes, I am always seeing the issue of “roostering” to play out with many push up attempts from people. It’s a common issue and a common weakness among many when attempting it for the first time, or first few times. A very light smack to the back of the head usually does the trick for at least making them aware of what they’re doing! :-)Thanks for the feedback my friend.

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