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Why do we evaluate push-ups?

Move Check assesses a series of movement patterns and functional exercises such as push-ups, but, what is a push-up? A push-up is an exercise consisting of a motion in which you lift-up or push your body up from the ground, and its execution allows us to evaluate several of our body’s structures and functions.

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A push-up is one of several pushing exercises for our upper body, and one of the most widely-performed arm exercises around the world, because it is simple to execute, easy to repeat, and because it does not require any extra equipment. This exercise simulates day-to-day activities such as lifting yourself up from the floor, or pushing a door open and, for this reason, it can be classified as a movement pattern or functional movement.

How is a push-up ideally meant to be performed?

A properly performed push-up is executed with your arms close to your body and your hands at the same level as your armpits, with your elbows facing backwards. Why? Because this places your shoulders at a stable and neutral position, with a low load for your joints and ligaments, thus reducing the likelihood of injuries. Then, you must lift your entire body, by completely pushing until your arms are fully stretched out. In a controlled movement, you must then lower your body until your chest is once again touching the ground. Throughout the entire movement, your shoulders, hips and ankles should be positioned in a straight line.

The assessment of this pattern will provide us with information about the functioning, in this movement, of your shoulders, elbow and wrists, along with the strength of your arms and the stability of your torso. If any of these three components fails during the push-up, this will result in a poor execution and an overload for your muscle and joint structures, which may aggravate a future injury.

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If when executing this movement, you feel pain in one of your wrists, elbows, or shoulders, or in your back, this could be the result of an overload on your body, preventing the simple and asymptomatic execution of this movement. The assessment of this pattern will supply us with relevant information in order to intervene and prevent any injuries beforehand.

For this reason, the evaluation of push-ups is relevant and key prior to beginning an exercise routine, signing-up for a gym, or when first practicing a new sport (in which you use your arms). This evaluation will allow you to identify any alteration in the execution which may put your health and performance at risk.

If you want to learn more about this and other subjects, please contact us.


Igal Rovner

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