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Trainer Tip July:

July 8, 2016

Trainer Tip:  Proper Push ups for shoulder health

Written by: Dusty Paul, Island Health & Fitness Exercise Physiologist

A push up is not just a push up... There are many variations and alternatives to address difficulty and pain. A push up targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, while engaging the core and require no equipment or spotters. Yet, as effective as they are for building strength, push-ups are also among the best exercises for shoulder stability and health. This is because, unlike in the bench press or chest press the push-up allows your shoulder blades to move freely, strengthening the serratus anterior; a vital muscle that keeps your scapula stable and helps it rotate upward. Improving the shoulder's stability and mobility with the push up can help fix many other shoulder problems. 

Proper technique of the push-up requires the elbows to be tucked to a 45-degree angle to the body, with the hips, torso, neck, and head in a straight line.  The muscles of the upper back should essentially “pull” you down into the bottom position. In the bottom position your abdominals need to stay tight as you start to push; meaning don't arch your back or sag your hips as you start your accent. 

For more information on how to find the right push-up variation for you at your current fitness level ask one of qualified Exercise Physiologists on staff at Island Health & Fitness. 


Dusty Paul 

Exercise Physiologist/Personal Trainer

Island Health & Fitness 

Islandhealthfitness.com 

ph: 607.277.3861


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