I have always LOVED doing pushups.
Pushups can be done anywhere. You can use them to build strength, endurance, and power in the upper body. There are ENDLESS variations. They are scalable from grandma to elite bodyweight strength specialists.
Here at Kettlebilty, our 3 Elements Skills Test includes 5 pushups with perfect form. This will allow you to join our 6 Elements class, which is our advanced class. So why is the pushup considered an “advanced” skill?
A pushup is a human plank that moves through space. While this is simple in theory, it can be quite difficult in practice… there is a lot that can go wrong! Being able to do 5 strong, controlled pushups shows us that you can take pretty much anything we as coaches throw at you.
Let’s look at a few common mistakes when performing pushups:
Very common is the cobra pushup. This is when the shoulders move faster than the rest of the body. While this is a lovely movement on its own, it’s missing the key aspect of a rock solid pushup: integrating and stabilizing all of the muscles of the torso. The key here is to keep those belly muscles contracted to prevent them from stretching.
Next we often see the shoulders creeping up towards the ears. We refer to this as “shrugging,” and it will both make your push weaker and your shoulders more susceptible to injury. Connect those shoulders down into the body, especially when coming out of the bottom of your pushup!
Speaking of the shoulders… saggy shoulders will also inhibit a beautiful pushup. Think about pushing the floor away HARD.
Last we find the hips higher than the shoulders. This is known as “piked” hips. This can make your pushup easier as it puts the torso in a less compromised position… but this is something we want! The extra effort needed to do a true, blue pushup has more carry over into every aspect of strength and life… from doing heavy deadlifts to simply standing up straight. The key here: squeeze your butt!