THE PISTOL SQUAT PROGRESSION LADDER

EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: PUSH-UP (GYMNASTIC)
HOW TO DO IT
LIE DOWN FLAT, FACE IN THE MAT – It’s easy to get a good set up from here.

TUCK YOUR ELBOWS IN – place your hands on the mat, right under your elbows. Spread your fingers.

PUSH TO THE START POSITION – here’s the key difference, we must push into a gymnastics hollow position and hold it throughout the push up – The toes: pointed, the pelvis: tucked under and held in a posterior tilt, the Abs: drawn in, the shoulder blades : protracted, the arms: locked, the head: neutral.

INITIATE DESCENT FROM THE SHOULDERS – this style of push up is initiated by the shoulder. The shoulders go slightly forward and down.

KEEP YOUR ELBOWS IN – the elbows must tuck in and touch the sides as we go down.

TAP THE FLOOR – Your chest must touch the floor for it to be a push up — otherwise you’re just half-arsing it/not quite strong enough yet. Your chest should be the only thing that hits the floor though, not your legs, not your stomach and not your head.

PUSH BACK UP – without breaking your hollow position. Your torso mustn’t move an inch please.

LOCK YOUR ARMS AND PROTRACT YOUR SHOULDER BLADES TO FINISH EACH THE REP – you should finish each rep exactly where you started: In your hollow position, arms locked out, shoulder blades spread apart, pelvis posteriorly rotated.

HOW IT GET’S UGLY AND HOW TO FIX IT
HIP DIP – Rather than keep your hollow position, your hips may drop as you decend, your back will arch and your bum will stick out. The fix: practice! Work on keeping your bum and stomach tight so that your position doesn’t have a chance to break down.

PIKE – when folk struggle with hollow position on their push ups, they often tend to struggle to get a real contraction in the Abs, so instead of tucking under the pelvis, the hips shoot in the air. To fix this, don’t start doing push ups until you can hold a static position perfectly. Practice Hollow Body Position on your back as well to help you get awareness of where you need to be.

HEAD DROP – classic on Push Ups! If you let your head drop then the ground seems closer. But you’re only cheating yourself (as they say). Draw your head back before you start, then don’t let it go anywhere! Your spine shouldn’t move at all during these push-ups, right from your arse to your neck.

ELBOWS SPLAY – This can happen if you put your hands too far apart, or if you’re struggling for strength. To fix: make sure you are initiating through the shoulder, scraping the sides with the elbows on the way down and then make sure you are not trying to do more reps than you have the ability to do! If you’re not ready for these, work on normal push-ups and the static hollow positions.

YOU CAN’T PROTRACT – We have this discussion on a whole host of our gymnastics style drills. Here’s the deal – first master awareness – so you know what it feels like. Then add strength by going for the static hold, then practice slowly and purposefully until you can do it naturally during dynamic moves like this.

WICKED CUES
TURTLE BACK, ELBOW SPIN – Remember this on the way up. It’s not a rep, until your elbows spin back, your arms lock out and you protract your shoulders into the this ‘turtle back’ look.

MASSIVE CHEST – As you descend, you need to feel the chest and shoulders load and stretch. The more you feel it, the stronger you’ll be.

PUSH THROUGH THE RIB CAGE – This is a nice cue that helps you keep everything tight and together. When you drive out of the Push Up, we don’t want the chest coming up and hips staying down, we don’t want the bum coming up first and then the head. So, try focusing on the belly button lifting first, you are driving your force through the lower part of the Rib Cage….

PROGRESSIONS / REGRESSIONS
Normal Push Up

Wide stance

Leave hips down, but on purpose.

Wrist Mobility with Shoulder Blade Protration

Scrap Control Drills

Planche Work

Vertical Push Ups

WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF??
SO, THIS IS THE ‘GYMNASTIC PUSH UP’ – Its a progression from the basic push up as there is so much more focus on position. When push ups go wrong – it’s either because you try and do too many, or because you don’t understand position. By the time you master these, you will not only be stronger, but you will be really really really good at controlling your midsection. You’ll look better for it and be stronger, meaner athlete too.

PROGRESSIONS AND TRANSFERABILITY – As a result of the above, you will be able to take the skills from this, and transfer them to loads of gymnastics movements and other strength and speed work in the gym. It really is useful and transferable skill that will keep you safe and help you perform better across the board.

SHOULDERS. TRICEPS. CHEST. ABDOMINALS – These muscles will get stronger. They will grow. They will look goooooood.

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