The Perfect Push Up

Trying to meet the demands of any sport can be a complicated process.  There are so many things to consider such as the balance between cardio and strength training, when to do which one, how to incorporate recovery and timing the intensity.  Because of this, there can be strange exercises or elaborate methods, but sometimes tradition is the way to go.  Like the saying goes, keep it simple stupid.  One movement that can sometimes be underrated is the push up.

Why am I doing a whole article on push ups?  Because it is a requirement for moto.  Think about the text book form for the attack position; head up, elbows squared up and no arches in your back.  Now think about good form on a push up.  The hand positioning, muscles involved and body positioning are a perfect foundation for upper body training.

Studies have shown that when a push up is performed correctly, it engages your obliques more than side planks.  Obviously, your pectoral muscles are utilized as well as the anterior (front) deltoids.    Additionally, the scapula is allowed to go through its fullest range of motion, which is not possible on any barbell or dumbbell presses.    All of these are huge players in the upper body for motocross and sometimes, they can be difficult to train.

Throwing in unstable surfaces such as medicine balls or balance boards involve the shoulder girdle more. This can strengthen the shoulder to help avoid shoulder dislocation and most glenohumoral joint problems.  However, when you add unstable surfaces, you will begin to hit the core and shoulder more, and less of the chest.

Below is a video of a perfect push up.  If you have a hard time with push ups, start with your feet wider and gradually work your way in.

Posted on Jan 19 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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