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Can't Do A Push Up? This Is Why

The Push Up…

It’s one of the best exercises you can do for many reasons.

Joseph Pilates knew this and included The Push-Up as one of his original mat exercises that he wanted people to do at home.

So why do so many people struggle to master this exercise?

In a nutshell…core strength and gravity!!!

Gravity is a huge force on our body and “pushes” us in to the ground, stopping us from floating away in to space. If we don’t actively work at counter acting this force, we start to experience changes in our posture and a kind of “compression” of the spine…I’m sure you’ve seen older people who have an appearance of “shrinking”.

Pilates creates deep postural strength which elongates or stretches your spine upwards, providing that counter acting force against gravity. This is the foundation of Pilates core strength and is essential to developing strength from the deepest muscles in the body.

Back to the push up…

The same “pushing” effect of gravity kicks in as soon as you get into a push up position, so it’s a bit like having extra weight on top of you…can you see how important core strength is to this exercise?

Yes, you need upper body strength, but if you have a strong core, then you are able to negate the push of gravity on your body, making it easier to not only go down in a push up without compromising your technique, but have the strength to “push up” against gravity on the way up.

The push up is a full body exercise, and getting it right not only requires strong abdominals, but you also need a strong spine, strong hips and glutes and strong legs.

If you just rely on upper body strength, you put yourself at risk of injury with a compromised technique, especially in the shoulders and neck and lower back.

Developing core strength takes time and patience.

So here’s the question…

Are you more interested in “doing” lots of push ups? Or are you invested in developing strength and fitness that contributes to fantastic posture, deep core and spine strength and contributes to preserving the integrity of your joints?

This is the essence of pilates strength.



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