Push ups are one of the most important exercises for ADF and Police applicants to master. They are a staple of ADF and Police fitness requirements and are continuously assessed throughout your career including your PFA. Read more for a detailed breakdown of push up technique and how you can ensure your push ups are clean and efficient for Assessment Day.
The team at TBG provides numerous resources to assist you with your push up progression. We will now break down the push up in more detail to highlight the main points to consider during the exercise.
Focus Points for Push up Technique
Listed below are 4 main points to remember when conducting the push up, methods to adjust your technique and a video demonstration of correct technique from different angles for your reference.
1. Full Body Tension and Alignment - Push ups are not just a chest, shoulder and triceps movement. A lot of people forget full body tension including the abdominals, glutes and legs. A lack of full body tension is the cause of an arched back and sagging hips contributing to poor alignment. Tilt the pelvis back and squeeze your butt tight, relaxing the ankles and pushing back with the heels to avoid straining the mid-section. Finally, keep the head neutral by looking at the ground 1 metre in front of you while maintaining core engagement. This might make the exercise harder but also more efficient.
2. Arm and Hand Position - Arm position may change depending on different push up variations. However, when performing the standard push up, you want to ensure that you stack your shoulders over your wrists forming a vertical line. A common bad habit to avoid is flaring the elbows. This puts strain on the arms and shoulders and can cause injury. The angle between your elbows and your body should not be more than approximately 45 degrees. Also, make sure both hands are firmly on the ground distributing your body weight evenly over the entire surface.
3. Range of Motion - Ensure you perform your reps going all the way down, elbows bent at 90 degrees and all the way back up locking the elbows out and keeping the body straight and tight throughout the entire movement. Don't try to reduce the range of motion by tilting your head down or lowering your hips. In the beginning, achieving full range is not easy so refer to these regressions to increase your strength with correct technique to avoid injury and the formation of bad habits.
4. Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Movement - This point is often forgotten but is essential for stability and control during the movement. When going down your shoulder blades should come together and when going up, they should move apart. You should also focus on scapula depression pulling them down rather than up. Maintaining these points throughout the movement will help prevent your body from collapsing into itself and improve muscular endurance. Scapula push ups are a great way to isolate this movement and increase stability and strength.
It is likely that applying these tips to your push up will make the exercise much harder, potentially affecting how many push ups you are able to do. Don't let this put you off. Quality over quantity and correct technique are what will give you real progress and build a strong, healthy body.
For all information related to physical training for Defence and Police, get in touch with the coaching team and keep your sights fixed on our blog for regular updates and podcasts.
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.