India, founder of Chukka Wellness has been a Personal Trainer for 7 years and regularly encounters people in the gym performing exercises incorrectly. This can inhibit not only progression in training but also increase the risk of injury later on in life.
Over the next couple of months, Chukka Wellness will provide coaching points on common exercises that are usually found in the standard training program and that can easily be performed incorrectly.
This month we will be discussing the Push Up because we have been nominated for the 25 push ups in 25 day challenge to raise awareness for mental health.
How to perform the perfect push up
Push ups are a great exercise to improve upper body strength and stabilise the shoulder joint.
· Elbows flex outwards too much
· Upper body muscles are not engaged correctly
· Not leading the exercise with the chest
· Not tucking the chin in
· Head is too low
· Core is not engaged
· Lower back is over extended
Now let’s run through the correct coaching points.
1. Start with your body in a plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists
2. Retract your shoulders back slightly so that you have more extension through the upper back. This engages more of the upper body muscles.
3. Perform a pelvic tilt to engage your abdominal muscles
4. Lengthen your whole body
5. Leading with the chest, flex the arms keeping the elbows tucked in
6. Tuck the chin in but don’t drop the head (aim for a neutral spine position)
7. Keep the core engaged, pause at the bottom of the push up and extend the arms to bring you back to the start position.
8. Use your breathing to control the movement – inhale on the downward phase, exhale on the upward phase.
*Remember you can still perform an effective push up on your knees.
*If you struggle with wrist pain, place the palm of your hand on a rolled-up towel to reduce the angle at the wrist. This takes the pressure of the wrist joint!
To monitor progression, try to perform as many push ups as you can in 30-50 seconds. Repeat the test every 4 weeks and try to beat your number each time!