Push-up Hack: Quick Fix To Make Upper Body Push Exercises Safer And Stronger

by - 12:45 AM


Push-ups are one of the oldest, most frequently performed exercises for one simple reason. They work.

Not only are they great for building a nice sculpted chest, when performed correctly, the exercise can:

  • Improve upper body push strength and endurance,
  • Improve stability of the core,
  • Increase bone density, &
  • Create lean muscle mass that raises your metabolism

Though seemingly simple, this exercise can often be performed with poor technique, minimizing the benefits and possibly causing more harm than good. 

One of the primary bio-mechanical faults in setting up the push-up is poor hand position.

When performing push-ups, people often set up with their hand position high and wide. If you took a picture from above, their set up would look like the letter T. A more optimal hand position is 45 degrees from the side, like an arrow.


Why is the arrow shape optimal?

  • It puts the shoulder in a stable position, so less chance of injury.
  • It requires more muscle activation in the pecs and triceps, so your muscles work harder.

What is wrong with the T-position?

  • It puts much more stress on the shoulder joint. See more about keeping your shoulders healthy here.
  • It feels easier because your ligaments and bony bits act like a trampoline in the bottom position of the pushup. Because your shoulders’ range of motion is more limited in this position, the ligaments and tendons absorb the downwards energy and take the strain of your muscles.
  • Your muscles don’t get enough of a workout, and your ligaments, tendons and joint capsules get too much of a workout.
There are countless upper extremity push exercises, but many times the basics are the best. 

For more information on exercise technique or tips on how to look, move, feel, or perform better contact me at jswilliams0659@gmail.com.

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References:
- http://hundredpushups.com/why.html
- https://www.t-nation.com/training/best-damn-push-ups-article-period
- http://www.livestrong.com/article/25511-benefits-pushups/

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