Do You Even Push-up?

March 2, 2016


 

Are you looking to improve your upper body and core strength and sculpt your arms? Of course you are! The push-up is the perfect vehicle to take you there. Push-ups are: self limiting, accessible, and good for shoulder health. They can keep the physical therapist away.

 

A few years ago I experienced shoulder pain. Of course I just brushed it off and continued training. Once the pain became intolerable I had to address the issue. I couldn't even turn the steering  without squirming. I knew something was wrong. I was referred to see a physical therapist. The therapist told me I had weak shoulder stabilizers. My serratus anterior were weak, which led to scapular winging. In other words my shoulder blades protruded out more than it should have. 

 

The stabilizers are responsible for keeping the shoulders stable during physical activity. 

 

I could bench press my bodyweight for over 10 reps without breaking a sweat. When the therapist had me perform exercises like the push-up plus, it was a struggle. They challenged the source of the problem, my weak shoulder stabilizers. After a month of religious PT, my shoulder pain decreased. I was strong enough to perform the push-up plus with less difficulty.

 

If you enjoy bench pressing as much as I do, show some love to your stabilizers. Treat them to a healthy dose of push-ups. Failure to do so can land sideline and land you in PT. 

 

Bench pressing requires your shoulder blades to be pinned into your back. This technique can hurt your posture if you don’t have a balanced program. Push-ups allow the shoulder blades to glide over your ribs instead. So make sure push-ups are a part of your routine.

 

I like to include yoga and inchworm push-ups into my warm-ups. It’s a quick and efficient way to prime the shoulders and core for greater demands in the workout.

 

 

 

The human body is an amazing resilient vessel. It can fight off infections and patch up scrapes. Through intentional exercise it can build bigger and stronger muscles. 

As a kid I hated showers and often went days without taking one (pew stinky). I always had some type of battle wound resting across my knees. I never appreciated those crusty scabs. That all changed after taking Anatomy and Physiology in college. 

 

There was a beautiful diagram in the textbook. It highlighted all the different parts involved in forming a scab. There were blood cells, platlets and protein all working together. It was a fascinating display of true synergy. 

 

So yeah, scabs are pretty amazing.

 

The human body has the ability to perform jaw dropping feats.  Just look a what gymnast can do. They can launch themselves flipping and twisting through mid air and land on two feet. It takes years of discipline, dedication, and hard-work to execute such powerful moves. 

 

 

The push-up is basic but a part of every athlete's regimen.

 

You can't go wrong with the convenience of the push-up. They can be performed anywhere. Not strong enough to do them on the ground? No problem, use a wall, the end of a couch, or even a coffee table (be creative). 

 

 

Are basic push-ups are too easy? No problem there are plenty of progressions to choose from. So you'll never get bored. 

 

Disclaimer push-ups will get you wicked strong!

 

 

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