Beaufort Fitness: Push up
“The first movement that we talked about was the squat. Now I’m going into the second movement and once you start to learn how the body moves you will understand how to put these exercise in specific orders, but the first movement that we talked about was the squat, so we talked about sitting back on the heels, keeping the body straight, squatting properly. Now, the second movement I’m going to go into is a push up, and a push up is a pressing motion, so you could also do the reverse of that which would be on a bench pressing up. It’s a different modalities, there’s different aspects to it. Before someone does a press they should learn how to do a push up, and so let me explain what a push up is and how to do it.
First off, before you actually do a push up on the floor, you need to have the strength to be able to lift about 70% of your body, because when you get in this position, you are lifting roughly about 70% of your body so when I go down and I press up my chest and the muscles supporting it, the synergistic muscles have to have the force, the strength, to be able to move 70% of my body weight. If I can’t, the best option is to do it on an incline so you might have seen somebody doing wall push ups so where they are actually on the wall in a slight incline right like this (please see the video) where they get their body on an angle and then they do push ups. So, what you can do in that situation is, for example, put your hands on your bed and this will increase the incline and take the percentage of your body weight off. For example, if you increase 10-15% now you are decreasing the amount of bodyweight that you are using to press up and this is how you get stronger so you start on a high incline and then you start to come down. So you can start on… say your kitchen counter doing push ups 15-20 reps. If you can bang out 3 sets of 15-20 reps very easily then you are able to decrease the incline. So I would suggest about 10% each time you can do this on your stairs, right.
The other option that we have which is not great especially as you know we specialised in back pain relief is doing the knee push ups. Now the knee push ups is in this position but what we find is that most people end up sagging the butt and in this position that’ll be putting a lot of stress on the lower back so as long as it is done properly where the spine is completely straight, we can squeeze the legs together just to make sure we are stable, a lot of people end up crossing – this is not good. We want to press the feet together and then straight up and down and now this is taking a percentage of our body weight off the movement pattern.
So, the key here is that you have core strength. Alright, so the base of support for the push up are your toes touching the ground and your hands touching the ground. Your base of support is whatever touching the surface that is supporting you and the area in between. So, if you notice, in a push up the base of support are my toes and my hands, now everything in between has to stay solid and strong, if I don’t have the core strength I’m going to sink down. And this is where planking comes in, right? I can just stay here, tighten my abs and strengthen myself by doing that, but the back program which we have is what we have people start off on the base level to strengthen the area around the hips, the pelvis, and the lower back.
Once you are strong enough to get in that position, what I would recommend is doing 3 sets of 15 reps of push ups and getting to that point. And then you can start to make things hard on yourself, you can decrease the base support by bringing your feet together, your hands together, you can start to go on to a decline so I can put my feet up say my feet go up on a window seal here. Now I’m slightly declined and now I have more of my body weight that I am pushing up and so then you can start to play with exercises.
So the second exercise that we are talking about here is a pressing motion, specifically a push up. If you are unable to do push ups, you can also do a chest press: that is laying on a bench, you can also do laying on the ground with either two dumbbells or a barbel. It’s the same motion just you have a base of support now on your whole back and it’s not as core intensive.
Alright, so there’s the second exercise – the push up. We’ll go to the next one here in a second.”
Ian Hart is a Body-Mind Transformation expert, the creator of EarthFIT Training Systems, co-creator of BACK PAIN RELIEF4LIFE, author of HEALING HACKS, and founder of BEAUFORTPERSONALTRAINING.COM and MYBACKPAINCOACH.COM. Ian and his team help people get into optimal shape in the safest, fastest and most effective way possible, using cutting edge science.