There’s no getting around it:  If you do , you will be doing pushups and probably lots of them if you suck at them, until the demons of weakness have been exorcised.  Pushups are a simple an effective way to add strength to your training program, but they are also a great tool to diagnose  your core endurance in relation to your upper body strength and vice versa! 

Here are some common strength/endurance weaknesses that reveal themselves in a pushup.

Core weaker than pushing strength: hips sag down on way up and down.

Core stronger than pushing strength: athlete’s hips stay level, but lowering is incredibly difficult. When pushing back up, back is tight and flat, but the athlete cannot simply push-up off the ground.

Shoulders sag:  Two things are possible. One, athlete does not possess the body awareness to protract the shoulder. Two, athlete has weak serratus anterior and pectoralis major and minor.

A great way to develop awareness and positioning and thereby better push-ups is to force the athlete to focus on the eccentric contraction I.e. the way down, making sure the quads, glutes are engaged and the shoulders are protracted.

Stay tuned for our next video to find out how to strengthen those particular weaknesses!