For as long as commercial gyms have existed, the push up has been one of the most trained, but least coached movements in fitness.
Push up are crucial elements of fitness programs, but their simplicity can bely the opportunity to improve them.
By utilizing technology like BodiTrak, we’re able identify movement that the naked eye cannot. Data offers more opportunity to evaluate technique and provide biofeedback for improvement. Here are two ways that you can improve your push up with BodiTrak:
It’s not uncommon for athletes to have a dominant arm. It’s usually the result of being favored in daily activities. However, a dominant side in training can be problematic.
BodiTrak advisor Adam Halseth recently worked with a competitive bodybuilder recovering from a rotator cuff repair. The client favors the non-injured arm, pushing with almost 20% more force. Though this might be expected during a rehab process, it could be very dangerous if the habit persists into training.
Interesting application of @boditraksports pressure mat. He is about 3.5 months post rotator cuff repair. Competes as a body builder. Doing a push up and you can see his non surgical arm (blue) is consistently producing 20% more vertical force than surgical (yellow). Also had a consistent 55%/45% pressure distribution.
A few weeks later, Adam was able to demonstrate progress to his client (scroll right for the “after” data).
Picture 1 I posted a few weeks ago. A professional bodybuilder about 13 weeks post surgery you can see the difference in GRF, blue line indicating non surgical and yellow is surgical. Blue constantly doing majority of the work in a push up that otherwise looked symmetric to the naked eye. 2nd pic is now 4 months out and surgical nearly identical to non surgical. @boditraksports @oiperformance
If your athlete isn’t healthy, your program is irrelevant. Identifying asymmetry can help protect an athlete from injuries that can keep them from training.
Because BodiTrak quantifies vertical force, evaluating force in a push up can be a useful way to gauge progress month-by-month or even assess the effect of fatigue at the end of a workout. It also can be a useful tool for encouraging maximum output in a workout. Since athletes see an objective measure of how hard they are trying in a push up, they can’t slack. After all, intent is one of the most under-appreciated elements of an effective training session.
BodiTrak can evaluate the quality of force, not just the quantity. Look at the two captures below. In this case, the athlete was instructed to perform a push up slowly and another explosively to highlight a difference. Though both push ups could look similar to the naked eye, but the data indicates a meaningful difference in force quality.
Notice the shape of the two curves. The curves in the capture on the left are markedly sharper, indicating a more aggressive generation of force. This offers a terrific opportunity to quantify and communicate the effect of fatigue, intent and technique. Though a movement may be familiar, the underlying data always offers an opportunity to learn more.