So the push up is just a chest exercise? Not a hope. If you watched the videos in this post, you’ll have learned how the push up requires strength and stability through the entire torso to perform correctly. But with a few variations we can actually mobilise the spine, particularly the Thoracic spine or upper back, where most of our rotational movements are supposed to happen.
There are two styles of Push Up that really tick the boxes for thoracic mobility, the Hindu Push Up (Dand) and the T-Push Up. Both help open the rib cage but in different ways. Either way, your still developing strength and getting all the benefit of a regular push up.
Take a look at these two videos, listen to the commentary, then try them out. Take you time, build into them slowly, even if you’re strong. Many of the guys that come to Wild Geese to train are already strong and active, but also bound up and tight. These variations on the humble push up have humbled many a meat head as they realise just how restricted their standard gym training has left them.
Here’s the Hindu Push Up which is a great shoulder strength drill which incorporates flexion and extension of the thoracic: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu3KnV7NlJ4] And this is the T-Push Up which is like a standard push up but incorporates rotation through the thoracic: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt_Owj6J1pQ] Both of these, and all the bodyweight drills I’ve been showing are detailed in No Equipment, No Excuses, my reference manual for all things bodyweight, check that out here:
I’ll be back on Monday with more from the world of bodyweight training, but in the meantime, use the info you already have and get down the beach or in the park and train!