by Jason Clark, PilatesAthlete
The Push-Up Workshop – if not now, when?
The Push-Up seems to be having a resurgence in popularity at the moment. And there is good reason. The Push-Up is an exercise that can provide a complete workout for most muscles in the body. It works to strengthen and build definition in the shoulders, chest, arms, legs, thighs, back and of course the abdominal and postural muscles. So it is very effective to add to your everyday workout.
The Push-Up also improves structural imbalance in the body and will also give you more power and strength to do other exercises well. After doing some strengthening using the Push-Up, most people will bench press more for instance.
As a PilatesAthlete, clients often ask me what is the main benefit of the Push-Up! My response is that of improved movement. The toning of the body is a very nice side effect, but our motivation for training should be, to move better.
From a PilatesAthlete Perspective
Our lifestyle and tendency to sit at desks or hunched over computers for long periods of time has meant that often the muscles that link the vertebra, our core muscles, shoulders and back extensions muscles, are weak. A correct Push-Up can strengthen these muscles and correct our neutral spine and posture.
Some of the 25 Push-Ups in this workout, like the Twist, will remind the spine how to move in sequence, from one vertebra to the next, in this case moving in rotation like a spiral. Such training makes specific movement more efficient, lessens injuries and improves our balance.
The Push-Up, uses one of the main Principles in Pilates, The Principle of Upper Body Weight Bearing. It also incorporates most of the other Principles including Breathing, Core Control, Axial Elongation, Spinal Articulation in some versions, Shoulder Head and Neck Organization and also Movement Integration when various factors like the surface and direction are altered.
The PilatesAthlete – 25 Push-Up Variations
There are many Push-Up variations, and Jason in this video demonstrates the 25 different versions that he finds to be the most effective and challenging even for the fittest people.
Changing up the kind of push-ups that you add to your workout will also target different areas of your arms and back. Having Push-Up options will also offset your training when your muscles plateau as you can do alternative versions at different times. Then you can come back to previous versions when you plateau again.
You can increase the intensity and Challenge of your training, by doing the Push-Up versions in this video where there is a change in movement factors such as the incline, for example in the Tandem Pushup, or changing the load resistance or the stability on the surface you are resting on, such as in the Band, Rebound and the Ninja Pushup.
If you are looking for more of an aerobic, fat burning workout out, check out the Push-Up versions where tempo and explosive movement is added, like in the Push-Up with the clap.
Of the 25 versions, the hardest are those that specifically target one muscle such as the triceps in the Diamond Push-Up, or focus on the weaker parts of a muscle not commonly worked, for instance near a muscles insertion or origin, like working the chest in the wider T Push-Up.
Equally hard are The Push versions that focus more on unilateral bodywork such as the Single Arm Pushup.
The Wrap Up
The Push-Up, is and should be an invaluable exercise to add to your exercise regime. Add these 25 variations to propel your movement to a new level. The Push-Up will challenge you through the many tougher variations.
If you do them well, and often, you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Jason Clark is a well-known Pilates educator in Asia, lifestyle presenter and has just launched his new company PilatesAthlete. He is known for his tough and hardcore power approach to Pilates and fitness. This new lifestyle brand PilatesAthlete, is where Jason produces and appears in DVDs, conducts Pilates retreats in Asia, PowerCore series & SUP Pilates and has a popular following for his fitness and nutrition tips.