Improve Your Pushup with Core Stability
Don't think you have the strength to do a pushup? Think your upper body is too weak? Or you weigh too much? Most people share a common misconception about how to improve their pushup. Though chest and arm strength are important, but they aren't the only piece of the puzzle. In addition, you need shoulder stability, scapular (protraction/retraction) strength, body control, and most importantly CORE STABILITY!
Most people who can't do a full pushup have a difficult time keeping their hips elevated from the ground and their backs in alignment. This is the result of core deficiency. As you lower yourself to the ground, your core (defined as a complex of deep trunk muscles that provide lumbar and pelvic strength/support) is not strong enough to stabilize your low back and lower body. As a result, most people will immediately go to a modified, from knees push-up thinking that they will do this until they get enough strength to go to back to regular style. Unfortunately, by dropping to your knees two things happen: you take most of the weight off your arms and you take your core almost completely out of the equation. If you take your core out of the pushup, how do you think you will ever complete a push up.
Instead of doing modified pushups, try the following as a fix: do as many exercises as you can in a prone position with your hands and feet being the only things touching the ground. Start with Superman's, shoulder taps, bird dogs, toe touches or just slowly lowering yourself down. Also, do anterior core exercises from a prone position which includes rollouts and plank variations. Using this strategy, you will focus on core stability and body control without having to drop down into a full pushup. Try this for 6-8 weeks and see your pushup improve.
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