Monday, November 14, 2011

The Pushup

The more I think about it, the more I get to like the pushup (as I've said before).  It is the fundamental exercise that everyone should be doing, not just for the upper body, but for everything - posture, core, the lot.  You need solid hips / glutes and upper back/traps.  You need to be able to hold the plank position before you can do the exercise. 

Yet rarely do you see a decent pushup.   People move too fast, but don't move enough.  They rarely hold the plank. 

I sometimes think that in terms of basic strength, a pushup and a proper squat (or a wall sit) would be enough for most people.

Anyway, Greg Everett has a superb post today on the pushup and the need to develop it as a basic exercise:

The Push-up: Why Is This So Hard?


John Sifferman said...

Good article. Greg thinks pragmatically and he gets this stuff.

There's a lot of confusion around the basic pushup because there are a lot of different opinions about how to do it. For example, I don't agree with his 45 degree angle recommendation for hand/arm positioning because I like the elbows in tighter to the ribs, which puts less strain on the joints and allows greater force production potential.

That said, there are different techniques that are most appropriate for certain goals. So, the best pushup for one person might not be the best pushup for another. Some technique qualities will remain constant, yes, but others may vary based on goals.

Regardless, just doing pushups is an impressive first step, and for most people, these details don't matter all that much. Us geeks need to get a life sometimes!

Chris said...

Thanks John

I'd actually agree on the keeping the elbows in a bit tighter.

By the way, tonight inspired by your article I decided to do 5 minutes in the pushup plank position. Tough but I made it.

Aaron said...

I revere the pushup. Gave up the expensive gym membership two years ago and train at the playground in the summer and in my flat in the winter.
Not much else to do for chest in these situations ... but I'm not complaining. I've done regular ones, clap pushups, backpack weighted pushups, weighted with a clap, slow motion ones - you name it. I'm slightly sore at this moment from some super slow, non weighted ones yesterday.
The pushup is simple in principle and powerful in effect. Can't beat it.

John Sifferman said...

Awesome, Chris - congrats! That's quite a feat to accomplish. Although, I've got a couple of ladies in their mid-late 50's who just set a new PR at 21 minutes. It kindof makes our paltry 5 minute sets look amateur. They're shooting for the Guinness World Record, though.

David said...

I struggled with finding a way I could make push ups easierfor folks that lacked the strength to do push ups correctly. Thats when I invented the Push Up Bench. It allows almost anyone to do push ups with full range of motion, without cheating, to get the most benefit. Check it out.

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Hey this post is really nice, even i think these few exercise can keep a person fit forever.

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