Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Technique Tuesday - Push-up

Okay, today we are talking push-ups.  I find that this is one of the hardest exercises to come back to after having a baby and one of the first exercises that get really hard whilst pregnant.  Along with being an upper body exercise that uses primarily the chest and triceps you must have a strong core in order to support your back and maintain good form throughout the exercise.
 Muscles worked - Pectoralis major, Triceps
It is often a good idea to start off on your knees before graduating to your toes as you get stronger.  If starting on your knees is too difficult you can make it easier again by putting your hands on a raised surface and when you are ready to graduate to your toes (using more core strength) you can also start these ones with your hands on a raised surface also.
Let's look at some technique points to have you performing a great push-up:
  • Start lying flat on the floor and line your hands up with your chest - I see many people doing push ups with their hands too far forwards.  This will work more shoulders than chest and we want to get into your chest with this exercise.
  • Push yourself up to a starting point with arms straight
  • Have an awareness through your transverse abdominal's keeping your core nice and strong
  • Aim to maintain a straight line between your shoulders and your toes (or knees)
  • Lower your body slowly towards the ground whilst maintaining good control 
  • Push through the chest whilst keeping your body straight to bring you back to the starting point
  • It is important to think about recruiting your chest muscles 
Put your mind in the muscle
To build up your strength you can practice performing just the eccentric movement (known as a negative) - lower your body down to the ground as slow as you possibly can (I mean super slow) let yourself come all the way down to the floor and then pick yourself up any way you can.  You probably will only be able to perform a few of these.
Remember when including push-ups in your workout make sure you balance your body by including some back exercises also.

Thank you Jacinda for being today's model

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