Pilates Exercise: The Modified Push Up

Pilates Exercise: The Modified Push Up

We're going to be doing the modified push up, a whole body exercise. I suggest you skip this exercise if you are in any acute pain.

This video has not been modified for injury or chronic pain issues. Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

If you want to build up the structure, strength and form to do a full push up, this a great exercise to practice. As I mentioned, this is a whole body exercise. I'm going to be thinking about what's working all the way from my feet through the crown of my head.

You want to use something to elevate your upper body, so you won't be working directly on the floor. I'm going to use a long box. First thing I'm going to do is go into a plank position and I'm thinking about how active I am in my plank position because my whole body is engaged. My inner thighs are squeezing, my bum is on, my core is on, my lats and upper back are on. I'm not hyperextending my knees or my elbows because I want to be able to access my muscles. When you hyperextend, you lock out your joints. your muscles. I want to think about reaching through the crown of my head so I have length through my entire spine.

I'm going to exhale down and inhale up, going only as far down as I can stabilize my shoulder blades. Your shoulders blades should not move because you are using your upper back muscles to stabilize them.  Notice that my shoulders aren't coming up to my ears, nor am I sinking in my chest and losing my abs, that feels horrible and I don’t recommend it.

I'm staying connected through my inner thighs, my bum, my belly, not hyperextending my elbows or my knees and staying active in my upper back and my belly. My entire body is working in this exercise. Pay attention!!

When you do this exercise correctly you will feel a lot of bum, ab, upper back and arm work. Your lower back should not feel strained. Stay focused on the quality of your movement, not how many you do. Stay connected to how it's feeling in your body. When you feel your lower back start to take over, rest.  Do not ignore your pain and push through it. Do small sets, taking a rest as needed. It's better to do lots of small sets with great form than one long set filled with compensations because this will help prevent injury.

Don't forget to stretch out afterwards!! We want to keep our muscles supple and long so we don't loose any of our flexibility. When our muscles  become tight and contracted, it may lead to knots and spasms. No one wants that!! Take the couple extra minutes to stretch out afterward. Your body will love you for it and you'll feel better.

Enjoy the modified push up.
Have fun!

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