The push up plus is known to be a simple movement but its role in muscle activation and shoulder stability is invaluable.
The push up plus can be performed several ways, either in a neutral push up position or alternatively on a wall, bench or on your knees. These versions all require the same movement of slightly rounding your back trying to push your spine, especially the part between your shoulder blades towards the sky/ceiling then relaxing and sinking between your shoulder blades bringing them together, as shown in the video.
During this exercise it is important to remember to maintain a neutral spine with no extension through the lumbar region. As, the emphasis throughout this exercise is the movement between the shoulder blades. The importance of concentrating on this movement is for the activation of the serratus anterior.
The serratus anterior muscle is a key contributor to normal and abnormal scapular motion and control. It is important for the scapula (shoulder blades) to have quality movement as it provides a stable base from which glenohumeral (shoulder joint) mobility occurs. When the scapula fails to perform its stabilization role, the shoulder complex function is inefficient, which can result not only in decreased neuromuscular performance but also may influence the individual to an injury of the glenohumeral joint.
Therefore, understanding the correct technique and why this exercise is performed will assist within anyone’s shoulder stability. Especially, in sports that requires a lot of shoulder movement or contact, along with your occupation and everyday living.
Written by Rachel Warcon – Exercise Science