The push-up naturally encourages anterior pelvic tilt (APT) and an arched back due to forces on the body induced by gravity. Contraction of the abs is required to prevent an arched back and keep the hip region in neutral, but further contraction of the glutes and abs will take you into posterior pelvic tilt (PPT), or tucking your hip under. Whether you should enter into PPT is up for debate.
Most trainers would agree that doing push-ups in APT is unwise. As long as you can keep a neutral posture, then all is well. However, some coaches believe that the push-up should be performed with a maximal glute and lower ab contraction to facilitate a strong PPT.
The PPT push-ups have three distinct advantages over the traditional push-up.
- Since it requires a strong butt and lower ab contraction to create the tilt, it serves as a static glute activation exercise. This allows you to kill two birds with one stone by improving the neural drive to the glutes while working the upper body.
- By shifting the pelvis forward with your glutes, you're no longer hanging the front of your hips down to the floor. This requires a stronger abdominal contraction as now you're using active muscles to keep you stable rather than passive muscles and ligaments.
- The extra muscle force from the abs and glutes makes it a more effective core exercise and makes the push-up a "total body exercise."
- Third, it "locks you in" so there's really no chance of losing core stability. In other words, you maintain a straight line from your shoulders to ankles while you perform push-ups.
Power out those pushups during your next workout with the mind engaged
and the body working as a unit.
Stay Active, Keep Moving and
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