Shoulders hurt on the bench? Load the push up

I have already talked about how much I love using push ups our strength training programs. There are so many different push up variations that can serve for different purposes.

The push up is a closed chain movement (hands fixed in contact with the floor) and it allows the scapula to move freely so it is really important for shoulder health and can be used with athletes that have shoulder issues and cannot perform overhead pressing movements and bench press variations (open chain movement - scapula does not move). Above there is a video of a loaded push up which allows to work on strength in the lower rep ranges (push ups are not just a higher rep exercise). We had a couple of athletes that had trouble with doing any pressing movements but did great with these push ups (it is important to keep your elbows close to your rib cage and prevent iminging the shoulder).

On another note, the push up is one of the best “core” exercises (or whatever we call it nowadays). Research shows that the push up with elevated feet has a higher activation of the external obliques and rectus abdominis than almost any other exercise. So next time you ask me when we are doing “abs” you know what’s going to happen……

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