Push-Up Start

find levels of consistency within various exercises

The idea is to progress the baseline from the bottom, up - eventually we want the exercises we used for #2 to become the exercises for #1, and the exercises for #3 to become the ones for #2, etc. In this fashion we can progress more consistently and with a bit less pressure on ourselves about always succeeding in the linear sense. We have a different body every time we move around or exercise depending a lot on life and how we recover from it. So, on a day that feels abnormally low in energy and you still want to do something, make sure that your #1/2/3 levels are relative to the present time and not on expectation of past or future.

It will take quite some time to become familiar with what actually feels consistent, so just be mindful of the 'cause and effect' of what you do and you'll be able to manage the 'dosage' of it all as you see fit.

Typically, I spend about 80-90% of my movement time, in the levels of #1 & #2, trying to make them more and more comfortable. If I come across a streak of high energy I will certainly take advantage and spend more time trying things out that I know are far ahead of me. Follow your interests and try to really feel out the connectedness of your body.

Below are three general 'core' ideas that you should be pretty familiar with, followed by the more specific plank base ideas, which we will use to progress back into those push-ups. (Each video should have a more detailed explanation when clicked on, if you need).

Core Ideas

Cat-Cow

Quadruped position (all four's). From this position ribs and pelvis flex up together and they extend down together- any contrast between them will make moving or loading difficult. The key here is getting them to move 'together'. In this scenario I like to imagine the spine as a piece of bamboo- when holding it with a hand on each end, the bamboo will naturally flex upward or downward depending on the direction of force that you apply. If you hold only one end and try to move it, it will create a 'wave' that works sequentially down to the other end and back. Same goes for when the center is held, both ends will still move in unison, opposing the application of force. It will only 'break' when the force applied from opposing ends creates a single point of fixation.

Strength is in lengthNo matter which direction the bamboo moves, it's length remains the same, as should your spine.

dead-bug

Back position- priority is to make sure ribs and pelvis are facing each other, (if each were a cup they would align). The 'bracing' is internal, as opposed to 'crunching or squeezing' with the outermost abs. Internal bracing means managing internal pressure appropriately, a check would be in how well can you breathe while maintaining your position. Proper breathing will allow that 'work load' or force to be dispersed throughout the entire body instead of just concentrating in one spot. Another check- if everything is well between ribs and pelvis, the limbs should feel free to move easily, because their 'base' or attachment points are secure and stable. 

sitting to lying segmentation

Use hands on knees to 'close' off a space and then create as much length through the torso as you can to push yourself down into the floor inch by inch. Keep arms stretched as far as possible and tuck pelvis first. (Think about avoiding a punch to the gut). Keep these pretty slow to keep the difficulty level higher.

Plank Base Ideas/progressions

plank Base

The shortening of this plank to the knees will allow better focus on the ribs and pelvis that we are seeking. This is a nice combination of the dead-bug and the cat-cow as all of it applies together here. Strength should be pliable to allow easy movement and transitions- 'bend or break' rings very true. The plank is about gaining control of these aspects- knowing what to use and when and how all of that feels. Being able to move 'by feel' is a great advantage (such as in running and climbing).

Quad to Plank (4-3-4)

4-point, shift weight to 3-point to free up one leg and extend it to establish a full body plank and then match feet and reverse. Make sure to alternate leading leg. Keep Shoulder-blades 'stretched' apart from each other, load them as a structure and keep them connected to your 'core posture'.

(Video 2 is to increase the difficulty).

Push-Up (plank) Progression

Maintain that base plank position/feeling. These are ways to challenge your understanding and ability. This whole video sequence is a broad look at what the progression will look like, ending with the full version just to show the importance of that base plank and that it will not change throughout these.

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