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Get it Right: Push Up

Push ups are one of the most common exercises done to strengthen upper body strength. Find out from our functional trainer, Kelvin how you can perform a push up effectively.

The push up is one of the most common exercise done to strengthen upper body strength. The pushing action helps to develop the pectoral/shoulder muscles which works together with upper back muscles to hold the upper torso upright.

In this video, our functional trainer, Kelvin showcases how we can execute a proper push up effectively and progress further.

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Transcript

I’m going to get you setup in the push up position.  Hands on the floor.  What we’re looking at for is the back of the hip, the upper back and the lower back towards the butt area to be in a nice alignment.

From here Yi Ren’s going to retract his scapula, keeping it stable, pressing it slightly, keeping the navels joint in.  From here, instead of going straight down because your knees are on the floor, Yi Ren’s actually going to go slightly forward when he drops down into the push up.  Yi Ren’s going to do one repetition of it.

In the next one, what we’re also looking out for is the stability of the scapula.  As you go down if there’s an imbalance or weakness in the scapula, chances are you going to see a hiking over on one side.  This is a good exercise to help you assess or develop the scapula stability that you need as well.

From here, Yi Ren’s going to drop down to another push up. Stable even coming back up.  And that’s the push up with the knees on the floor.

This is a progression of doing the push up with the knees on the floor to doing the push up with knees off the floor.

I’m going to have Yi Ren setup in the push up position again similar to what we did with the knees on the floor. I’m going to have him raise his knees off, again looking for the alignment of the back of the hip, the upper back and the lower back.

From this position, Yi Ren has a nice alignment here. We’re going to retract the scapula, depressing it slightly, keeping the navels joined in and tilting the pelvis ever so slightly to make sure that we achieve that alignment.

From this position, Yi Ren’s going to drop his whole body down bending his elbow into one repetition of the push up and pushing straight back up.  He’s going to do it again making sure that the scapula is stable, back has a nice alignment and pushing up as one whole unit.

As you do a few more repetitions of the push up and you start to fatigue one area that you find that’s going to throw your body out of alignment is the setting of the naval and the lumbar area.  It’s going to droop and cause a bit of lordosis.

As you start doing the push up coming up, it’s going to start looking like this.  Go down to a push up.  And you see that curvature happening into almost like a cobra trying to do a push up. This is going to put a lot of strain in the lumbar spine.  What we want to do is just to raise the hips back, drop down into a push up keeping that alignment and coming back up.

If you can’t hold this position, just regress down with your knees on the mat and continue the repetition of the push up so that we can help protect the lower back.

As a progression from the foundation push ups, we’re going to do push up with two point contact.

I’m going to get Yi Ren setup into a push up position with the knees off the floor, again looking for that alignment between the upper back and the back of the head, the upper back and the lower back. From this position, Yi Ren is just going to raise his right foot off the floor, not too much just a bit without compromising the alignment. From here, he’s going to drop down into a push up.

Pushing down and keeping up. One more time. Squeezing the scapula and pushing back up and rest. Relax.

One common mistake that people make as they do this push up is that they lift the right foot or the foot that’s off the floor hanging in the air as they drop down the push up.  When this happens, you’re going to create a lordosis on the lower back and causing strain in the lumbar area.

Negative example of this would be as such. A better way to do that will be to ensure that as you’re dropping down into a push up, you bring your right foot together with you.

Here now, Yi Ren’s going to drop down in push up while it’s going down together as well, coming up and holding it right there. It’s also going to place a lot more emphasis on the core to make sure that the right foot is being kept up and following down along with you into the entire phase of the push up.

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