Friday, August 12, 2011

Break It Down: Push Up

Nothing says core strength and stability like the Push Up.  This is often the dreaded final exercise in the mat series, however it is important to pull the whole body together for one final, functional movement.  Woman need to be stronger in their upper body and the Pilates Push Up is the move to achieve this. 

Purpose- strengthen entire body, works alignment, stability in hips 

Preps- Quadruped, Prep for Long Stretch, Wall/Ballet Bar Push Ups, Scapular Push Ups 

Form- body is in a straight line from heels to crown of head, minimal rocking in hips, bottom active, abs lifted up and in, shoulders reaching back and down, elbows in tight by ribs for push up (more triceps)

*May not be appropriate for those with shoulder issues

Modifications- walk out to plank and back w/out the push up, only go slightly down in push up or do scapular push up instead, hold plank position, push ups on knees

How to Advance- increase number of reps (example: 3 sets of 5 push ups), go down for count of 5 than push up for count of 5 (slow intensity), put feet on a stability ball

Challenge- do a single leg version, half way hold push ups, bring hands closer together in diamond shape 

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