Are you keen to become a police officer in Australia? Mastering the push-up then must become one of your goals during preparations to the physical fitness test. In 5 out of the seven territories, the Police Force includes the push-ups in their PFA.
The push-up is one of the foundation exercises for balanced full-body strength. Do you feel they might be your weak spot and are afraid you may not be able to perfect it to pass your test? Don't fret; we will get you doing them with excellent form in no time.
Many applicants, particularly women, find push-ups difficult, especially those only seeking to achieve general fitness. Here at The Barracks Gym, we have helped more than 300 females to do full push-ups, with perfect form, and so we are going to reveal our secrets so that this exercise does not hold you back when it comes to passing your Australian Police Force Fitness Test.
Your assessors will be there not only to count your reps but mostly to make sure the way you perform the exercise is up to standard. Getting the form right is the most critical requirement. It doesn't only show the real strength of your upper body but also protects you from injuries.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest mistakes that police applicants make when it comes to push-up form. If you recognise some or all of these when doing your push-ups, I recommend you to start focusing on rectifying them asap.
Mistake #1 - Your Hands Aren't Directly Under Your Shoulders
I recommend taking a video of yourself doing push-ups so that you can assess your form and make sure you are doing it properly ahead of your NSW and Queensland Police Force Fitness Test.
One thing you may notice is that your hands are too far forward in regards to your shoulders. When your hands are too far ahead, you won't be as effective at doing push-ups; it restricts your ability to go low. Instead, aim to have the wrists in line with your shoulders.
The 90-degree angle you must achieve at your elbows when performing the exercise won't be possible if your hands are not in the right starting position. Your body recruits more muscles too when you do the push-up correctly.
You may find it hard at the beginning, but keep at it, and after time you will notice improvements. You will be able to go lower, do more repetitions, and you will feel stronger too.
Doing push-ups with the correct technique reduces the risk of a shoulder injury, too; your chest muscles will take the load and place less pressure on your shoulders.
Mistake #2 - Head Position
You're never going to impress the assessors if your head is hanging to the ground while doing your push-ups, not to mention the risk of injury to your upper back and neck. Keep your head level with your bodyline. One way to achieve that is keeping your eyes focused on the floor about a metre of your shoulder line.
Not only does this look better, but it gives a straight line from your head to ankles, and it will also help with activating muscles in your upper back, giving you more depth and control. If you lift your head, it also gives you a true reflection of how low you are going during your push-up. People often assume they are going low when their head is hanging low, when in fact, their push-ups have barely any depth.
Mistake #3 - Arching Lower Back
Your core likely needs strengthening if you find push-ups to be a challenge. Therefore, core exercises must be part of your workout plan to improve your push-up. While the more push-ups you do, the better you get at it, working for a strong core should include specific core strength and activation exercises.
There are several ways to describe the movement to help activate your core. Here are a few options:
Try all three and figure out which works best for you. Remember that push-ups consist of two movement elements: lowering and pushing up the body. Your core needs to activate throughout the whole exercise.
Mistake #4 - Not Hitting Depth
So how do you know if you go low enough or not? The expectation is that that your upper and lower arms meet in a 90-degree angle at your elbows. Many aspiring policemen and women were not able to get to 90-degree the first time they decided to join the Police.
If that's where you are, don't be discouraged. Depth will improve with practice as your shoulders become stronger. One of the best things to do if you cannot achieve full form right away is to try incline push-ups. What that means is that you have your hands against a bar, a step or a box, elevated enough from the floor so you can go to full depth.
At home, you can use a sturdy couch or chair for that purpose. Once you can perform 20+ repetitions at a height, you can decrease the incline and focus on the form. Keep doing this until you are on the ground and able to complete your push-ups at the depth required.
So there you have it: some of the most common errors people make when it comes to push-ups. It is vital to correct these mistakes before you take your Police Force Fitness Test. Don't let your push-ups get in the way of your dreams! If you need more direction or would like to have a commitment-free chat with a coach specialised in helping applicants like you pass their test, feel free to get in touch!
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.