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You like doing push-ups? Wait until you try push-ups plus!

Posted February 24, 2019

Working out is good for you. It makes you happier, healthier and more attractive. It prolongs your life, prepares you for hard times and makes you a bit of a better person. And you don‘t have to go to fancy gyms to workout – simple push-ups are one of the most effective exercises. Now scientists from the University of Waterloo studied the modified form of the old exercise called the push-up plus.

Push-ups help strengthening the serratus anterior, the muscle that connects the rib cage to the shoulder blade. Image credit: Airman 1st Class Amber Powell via Wikimedia

Push-ups will help you build your arms and chest. The strength and stability gained from doing push-ups is very useful when playing tennis, golf, baseball, swimming, lifting heavy objects and doing many other activities. However, most people have never heard of the push-up plus version. It is the same old exercise, but with an added step of actively separating the shoulder blades at the end of the push. Scientists say that this variation is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the serratus anterior.

Check out the video below to see how this exercise variation looks in practice:

Serratus anterior is muscle that connects the rib cage to the shoulder blade. Strengthening serratus allows developing a better control of the shoulder blades, preventing fatigue and injury during sport exercises. Researchers invited 20 healthy males to participate in experiments, where subjects had to try out different hand positions and orientations to see which variations would strengthen the serratus anterior more.

Scientists found that serratus anterior benefits from all kinds of push-ups, but some variations are slightly more effective than others. For example, if you want to train your forearm muscles, you should try doing push-ups from your knuckles. Meanwhile pointing your thumbs towards your body will exercise deltoids, the chest muscles, and lower trapezius (upper back) more.

Doing push-ups is a good idea, but you do have to make you’re your joints are ok and you are not going to injure yourself. If you have any doubts, you should consult a professional before starting your rigorous exercising. Clark Dickerson, one of the authors of the study, said: “Physiotherapists, kinesiologists who prescribe exercise, and individuals who want to improve their athletic performance can all benefit from this knowledge. The push-up is highly adaptable to achieve various training goals and has applications for rehabilitation, training, and overall health.”

Push-ups are easy and you can do them anywhere. You can do them at home or in the park. You can probably do them at work if you want to. Just start slowly and try to maintain a correct form.


Source: University of Waterloo

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