The push-up is a classic exercise that has been around for a very long time. It is a great movement to build strength in the upper body as well as stability through your core. The push-up is an exercise we believe to be a staple in all of our athletes' workout programs, especially our athletes who are required to throw or to have their arms overhead in their given sport. The push-up allows the scapulae to move through a greater range of motion, specifically protraction, which strengthens the serratus anterior muscle. Proper function of your serratus is vital for shoulder health of the overhead athlete. In the video, you will see a progression from beginner to advanced; below, you will find a description on what cues to think about to help maximize your technique.
1- Elevated Push-Up
The first thing we are going to do is an elevated push-up. We'll do this to make sure the athlete has the correct scapular pattern. Also, to fully understand the correct form for a regular push-up, we want to keep our hips flexed the whole time while squeezing our glutes. Slowly, we are going to let ourselves down to the bar while keeping the elbows tight to our rib cage. As we go down, we are focused on squeezing our shoulder blades together, lowering our chest to the bar. From there, we are going to drive the bar while maintaining that same form we came down with back into our starting position.
2- Kneeling Push Up
Repeat the "Elevated Push-Up" in a kneeling position.
3 – Hands Release Push Up
In our Hands Release Push-Up, we are going to brace ourselves with a tight core and contract our glutes. Starting in a push-up position, we are going to slowly lower ourselves to the ground letting our chest hit first, then our hips, then our hands will come off the ground. When we come back up, we are going to set our hands into the ground and lift our hips up. From there, we are going to drive through the ground and push our chest off the ground getting back into our starting position. This ensures we maintain a flat back and don’t go into a back extension.
(still same form as before - elbows tight, squeezing shoulder blades)
Tip: Say these in your head as you’re doing them
As you go down – Chest, Hips
As you come up – Hips, Chest
4 – Push-UpIn a push-up, you will see a lot of people with a 90 degree angle in their arms (elbows in alignment with their shoulders). In this position, we restrict our movement pattern and don't allow the muscle to fully function. Starting in a push-up position keeping our core tight (think about drawing in your belly button) while squeezing our glutes, we will slowly go down keeping the elbows at a 45 degree angle. Make sure we are retracting our shoulder blades and allowing ourselves to get an inch or two away from the ground then driving back up, getting into full arm extension.