The Push Up – qp accelerators are all about getting the best out your exercise and in Pilates, one perfect repetition is better than five so-so ones.
Anyone who knows me, both within and outside classes, knows I effing LOVE science! Here’s some Physics people, you can apply it to your push up -qp accelerator. The longer the lever arm, the less leverage you achieve – having a longer lever will make the performance of your movement (in this case your Push Up) inferior and less efficient. Conversely, the shorter the lever arm, the more leverage you gain for your movement.
When applying this to the push up, you can maximise your ability to create force and get better leverage AND gain a mechanical advantage on each rep, by keeping your elbows closer to your body instead of the usual flaring them out at a 90 degree angle.
1) Keep your elbows closer to your sides at roughly a 20-40 degree angle to your body.
The aim of a correctly performed push up is to strengthen your entire upper body structure, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Many people allow their elbows to move past their wrists, letting them flare out to the side away from the body, or, behind the wrists towards their toes.
This not only places extra stress on the elbow joint, but also, for those of us who have weaker or arthritic wrists, it elevates the risk of overtraining those joint structures.
Anyone who knows me knows I HATE inefficiency, and allowing your elbows to move past your wrists makes a push up less effective and less efficient, as it reduces chest and shoulder recruitment and increases involvement of the triceps.
2) Keep your elbows above your wrists throughout the entire push up exercise. Your elbows should form a 90 degree angle at the bottom position of the push up.
Actually, pointing your fingers inward toward the midline of the body, encourages “arm flaring”. Additionally, that inward rotation forces your elbows to move out in both those manners described above. Better hand placement encourages superior elbow alignment and places the muscle of the entire shoulder structure in a more efficient position.
3) Rotate your hand (right clockwise, left anti-clockwise) outward slightly so that your fingers end up at roughly a 45 degree angle. This will help to align both elbows and arms in a better position for building strength and reducing stress on your joints.