by: Brandon Richey
Strength Tip Of The Day…The Push Up
For many push ups can start out being a difficult exercise to perform, but for others push ups can become a regular part of a sound strength and conditioning program. I believe push ups should play an integral part in preparing every athlete to perform better. Without push ups you might as well be eating a bowl of soup with chopsticks.
So Why Push Ups Brandon?
First and foremost push ups provide all of us with a solid base for developing strength and as a bodyweight exercise it does wonders for the joints, particularly the shoulders. Aside from having to stabilize the body in a uniform plank position you also have to lower and raise the body as a rigid unit to and from the ground. In addition to building tremendous core strength from doing this you also can build some serious shoulder girdle stability as well.
The act of pushing your body from the ground up (with proper technique) allows for the shoulder at the head of the humerus to externally rotate within the glenoid cavity. Throughout the act of performing the push ups you are essentially allowing the shoulder to function in a corkscrew like motion on the inside while muscles on the outside harden and strengthen like 10 gauge steel during the movement.
The push up exercise can be very basic, but once you feel that you are starting to master this particular drill you can easily make modifications to it to transform the once easy to perform push up into a humbling ball busting push up. Case in point the one arm push up drill as I’m demonstrating here.
You see by simply redistributing your bodyweight you can quickly advance the push up to become something more than just a push up. Once you get a handle on executing different styles of push ups with the confidence of absolute strength then you can jump in and add a speed element to the drill perhaps in the form of a plyometric. This will definitely add some “pop” to your push up drills.
You see once you meet these progressions you are doing something more than just push ups, you’re mastering your own body! There’s just no substitute for the almighty push up, or for the family of variations that come along for the ride. At the end of the day equipment should be your last concern. Make these ball busters part of your strength program.
Feel free to leave your questions or comments in the comment box below. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Start your smart training today.