Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Evolution of the Perfect Push-up

(Part 2 of Get stronger with the perfect push-up)

In the first installment, we covered the proper technique for a push-up. Now we will cover a few variations and progressions of the push-up. These variations and progressions can add new challenges to your body weight workouts and keep your workouts fresh. Remember, push-ups of all sorts challenge core and shoulder stabilization, plus strength at different angles and planes.

So, to start with the progressions:

Basic or beginner would be to have your hands on an elevated surface such as a wall or counter top (then kneeling push-ups). Moving to the Intermediate level would be your traditional military style push-up. The advanced level would include elevating your feet or adding movements in different planes to a push-up (i.e. arms or legs on a ball or moving arms in legs through different motions).

*Remember from the first blog, always maintain the perfect push-up positioning

*Some of the advanced variations can be utilized during basic set-up as well

Next, push-up variations:

For the most part these variations are for intermediate to advanced individuals.

Single-Arm Push-Ups

  • Assume a tripod position with legs spread wide and hand directly beneath chest
  • Perform push-ups, using opposite hand for extra support if needed

Spiderman Push-Ups

  • Crawl forward on the ground and perform a Push-Up with your knee at your elbow
  • Take a step forward on the opposite side and repeat
  • Continue in this pattern

Physioball Push-Ups

  • Assume push-up position with your hands on a physioball
  • Perform push-ups, keeping core tight to maintain balance

For more information, click here.

*Always consult your physician before attempting any fitness or workout program.

By: Rocco Ferraiolo PTA, NASM-certified

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Poor Posture, Poor Performance

Maybe we should have listened to our mothers and grandmothers when they said, “sit up straight and don’t slouch.”

We all know that poor posture is not healthy for any of us.  It affects multiple aspects of how the systems in our body function.

Muscle Imbalances & poor alignment

Having poor posture can change the alignment of joints, overstretch some muscle and shorten others. As a result, you will acquire aches and pains that are putting unnecessary wear and tear on the body. Correct posture can lead to less injury, better movement patterns and less aches and pains.

Breathing

When you exhibit correct posture, your lungs are able to fully expand and we are able to breathe from the diaphragm. This will allow us to utilize the right amount of oxygen. Slouching results in decreased space for your lungs to expand and it impedes the movement of your diaphragm. As a result, the body uses shallow breathing from the chest, allowing only short gasps of air.

Digestion

Indigestion and heartburn can result from poor posture. Hunching over the table does not allow your internal organs the room they need to function efficiently. Sitting up straight allows them to perform properly thus allowing food to pass through without resistance. (Maybe standing up we can digest faster and eat more because it goes to the toes – – – it’s a joke)

Self-esteem & Body image

I call it proud posture! Someone that we encounter with slouching shoulders and hunched over does not elude confidence or strength (think of Eeyor from Winnie the Pooh). Staying with that Tigger shows self-assurance, health and probably lessens his chance of injury because of his posture.

Improvements to posture

Various cueing techniques, strengthening and flexibility exercises can be implemented to correct your posture. Pull those shoulders back, relax and sit up straight. Can’t remember that, place yourself in good posture, then take a strip of athletic tape down your spine and a strip across your back shoulder to shoulder. Now try to slouch. . .it won’t feel good! Whatever the method . . . be diligent.

 

By: Rocco Ferraiolo PTA, NASM certified, SPARQ certified