It's no secret that I love Push-Ups. They were a staple in my exercise routines in the Marine Corps, and they continue to be one of my all-time favorites for everyday training programming. Push-Ups not only train your serratus anterior muscle and strengthen your rotator cuff, they also teach you how to move your body as a unit, making them a killer core exercise when executed properly.
Today's article is about rethinking training using Perfect Push-Up Elite handles, which are intended to reduce pressure on your wrists. (If you haven't yet read my last article on Push-Ups, you should start here.)
Re-Thinking the Push-Up
The wrist is a complex joint with 13 bones that articulate range of motion. It really is a workhourse. But the repetitive demands placed upon the wrist during Push-Ups are often overlooked. And for athletes who require the use of intense gripping all year round, injury can occur in the tendons that cross the joints, preventing stability and proper movement at the forearm, wrist and hand.
The Perfect Push-Up Elite is particularly helpful for minimizing wrist pain. According to this study of the Perfect Push-Up, it does not enhance muscular recruitment compared to the standard Push-Up for normal, wide, and close-grip variations. But in my experience, it does keep the wrist in a friendlier position, allowing those with injuries to train the Push-Up. I also like the fact that the Perfect Push-Up Elite allows for adequate rotation of the shoulder in a fully extended position.
Before we get started, note that if you can cannot master the basic Push-Up (as described in my previous article), the following advanced variations are not for you. They require a high degree of core stability to perform the movement.
The Perfect Push-Up
Eccentric (Slow and Controlled)
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