“Does it mat­ter where my el­bows point dur­ing push-ups?”

Shape (Singapore) - - Get Fit News -

You have three op­tions for where they should be dur­ing a stan­dard push-up: wide, about 45 de­grees back, or tight to your ribs.

“Bow­ing your arms out wide may cause you to hike your shoul­ders, which fires up the trape­zoid mus­cles that span the up­per back, and can limit your shoul­der mo­bil­ity,” says Kelvin Gary, the owner and head trainer at Body Space Fit­ness in New York City.

This is a lot of stress on the shoul­ders and neck, and this puts you at risk for in­jury. So it’s prob­a­bly best to nix that op­tion, Kelvin says. When you bend your arms straight back, so your el­bows are tight to your sides, your tri­ceps and an­te­rior shoul­ders take on al­most all the work. And while you think this may be fine, you’re ask­ing some of your small­est mus­cles to move your en­tire body down and up. “You’ll lose stamina, your form will go out the win­dow, and, ul­ti­mately, you’ll likely short­change re­sults,” Kelvin says.

Sim­ply di­rect your el­bows about half­way be­tween the shoul­ders and torso to let the chest mus­cles kick in. “This locks ev­ery­thing into place. The more mus­cles that con­trib­ute to your push-up, the more reps you’ll be able to do with bet­ter form, mak­ing you stronger,” he adds.

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