The Ultimate Push Up in 3 Steps
First in the 6 foundational movements series is the push up.
You may have had or are currently having difficulty with this movement. In this blog I will outline and demonstrate the 3 steps to improve positioning, coordination, and endurance.
1. Position: Alignment, Feet, and Elbows
Body: Depending on your training level the push up can be performed either in the traditional push up position or in the kneeling position which is less difficult.
You want good alignment from head to heel with no arching or rounding of lower or upper back.
You should maintain alignment throughout the entire movement.
Feet: Where you place your feet determines how much stability you will need. The wider you have your feet the more stable you will be as compared to the narrow positioning. Choose whichever is more comfortable.
Elbows: You want your elbows to be at about at a 40 degree angle from your torso when on the bottom position , This allows for a more comfortable position for the shoulder to support your weight.
Too often I see elbows flare out during a push up and this can lead to shoulder discomfort and pain in the future
2. Coordination: Pull elbows and Push hands
For the pushup its important to think of it in two parts. First a pull and then a push
Too often I see most people drop their body into their hands and focus solely on the push. I find for maximal control, efficiency, and coordination, focusing on both the pull and push phase you can achieve way more and make it sustainable.
3. Endurance: Inhale with pull and Exhale with push
As always, breathing is key. Not only for a fluid movement and control, but breathing helps to ensure oxygen exchange during your training which improves overall endurance.
With most movements, exhalation occurs during the concentric phase , in this case the push, and inhalation occurs during the eccentric phase, in this case the pull or lowering of the body.
Test out these pointers to optimize your push up movement and increase performance.