Last time we talked about the TRX and its versatility we discussed the TRX Row. Today, we are going to touch on the TRX Push-up. If you have never used the TRX before, check out An Introduction to TRX Suspension Training to learn a little more about it.
Push-ups have been making athletes stronger since the dawn of time. They are a great tool for building strength in your chest, arms, and shoulders. And, if done correctly, can help strengthen your core musculature as well. For baseball players, the benefits of a good push-up go even further.
We always need consider the shoulder when we talk about baseball players and strength programs. The shoulder is already an unstable joint, and an unstable joint is prone to injury. We put the shoulder in an even more vulnerable position by throwing. So, it would be best to strengthen those muscles which help to keep the shoulder functioning properly. The push-up can help to strengthen the serratus anterior which helps to protract and upwardly rotate the scapula (shoulder blade) when abducting the arm. Think in terms of raising the arm to throw a baseball. When we talk about the core strengthening aspects, you can think of the push-up as just a moving plank whereby the athlete needs to keep his center engaged and not allow his low back to arch (i.e. go into extension).
What does a good push-up look like? Here’s a video of Eric Cressey demonstrating a perfect push-up:
An athlete should have a solid form on the basic push-up shown above and be able to execute a few sets without any decrease in that form before progressing to a tougher push-up variation. The TRX Push-up can provide all the benefits seen in the basic push-up, but with a little more challenge to shoulder stabilization and core strength. The TRX Push-up should be performed as follows:
- Lengthen the TRX straps all the way out.
- Face away from the anchor point and set your body in a straight line (similar to a plank). Your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be in a line.
- Starting with your arms straight and the TRX straps just above your arms, walk your feet backward until there is tension in the straps and your body is in an incline position. (The farther back your feet move under the anchor point, the tougher the movement will be.)
- To begin the movement, retract your shoulder blades back and down. Allow your elbows to bend and your body to move into the bottom position. Keep your center tight so as to not allow your back to move into extension. Your body should remain rigid and your palms and wrists should stay neutral.
- Drive your hands through the handles of the TRX to return to the starting position. Repeat.
Again, if the movement is too easy, move your feet farther backward to give yourself more of a challenge. If it is too difficult to complete with correct form, walk your feet forward.
Always make sure you are performing the movement with great form. If you cannot complete the TRX Push-up with good form, return to the basic push-up.
If you need even more of a challenge, consider some of the following:
- Raise one leg in the air.
- Elevate your feet by placing them on a box or bench.
- Wear a weight vest.
For more information on the TRX, visit the TRX website.