THE PUSH-UP REVISITEDposted April 18
Tuesday is a push-up extravaganza. Like everything we do at Crossfit, technique is everything. You may think “it’s only a push-up, why should I worry?” Well, you should be concerned with efficiency and proper body mechanics, so let’s go over it. First, the plank. Straight line from shoulders to heels (or knees if you must, but I’d rather you be on an elevated level in full plank). No butts high up in the air, no saggy butts, just a solid, strong plank position. This means no bending at the hips, no thighs on the floor, no chest up first off the ground with a mid-air worm, no butt-first kips. Next, foot position. Let’s get strict. No wider than the shoulders! Hand position should be directly underneath the shoulders, not up by the head. I don’t know why people do this, but they do. It’s simple physics. The strongest force is one perpendicular to the plane against which you are pushing. Now, what you may not have thought about is your shoulder position. External rotation is the key. When in the plank, rotate the inside of your elbows up. This puts the shoulders “on the shelf,” or properly in their sockets. This will make you stronger. This is the same idea as being “active” in the shoulders, keeping your shoulders back during a deadlift, and the elbows rotated forward cue I gave today during the snatch workout. As you press away from the floor rotate your shoulders externally so that at the top of the push-up they are in the proper positions, elbows rotated forward (left hand will try to rotate counter-clockwise, right hand clockwise).
Also important is your spinal alignment. We should try to be rigid in the hollowed out position. This means not allowing your lower back to sag towards the floor. Here is good position:
Here is bad position:
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