NB: This is one of my 'go to' warm up and mobility drills.
Today we will dive into why it's difficult to go wrong with it and why everybody should learn do it. Moreover, it serves as a litmus test for all round mobility, activation and core control.
Let's stop talking about Chris Pratt and Anna Faris for one moment. There are far more important subjects to broach.
Not meaning to seem imperious. But this is a drill everybody should be well versed in. No, it isn't pink glittery boomerang tosses. Nor is it a sacrifice to the gods.
It is however, unassumingly tricky.
Here it is, I want you to check out all the moving parts.
The alignment of my hands and forearms during the press up
The alignment of my whole body during the press up
When I stick my butt in the air
I open up my shoulders without sticking my head forward
The controlled lift of the leg towards the outside of the hand
I let my hips sink down and really open up
When I reach up, I open up my chest and keep my bent knee pointing forward
I maintain good breathing patterns from the belly not the chest
I maintain good tension throughout the movement and squeeze my back on the reach up
The way my Nikes look sweet
I like Nikes.
Just keep this drill as vanilla as possible. Not 3X5 With 23.453 seconds rest and a double back flip.
Just do: AMRAP = As many reps as possible.
Make a note of how many you did, always try to beat it by 4 (Twice on each leg) next time round. Then, we can high five.
What does it mobilise?
Everything that typically needs mobilising in the vast majority of the population.
The hips get opened up.
The glutes get fired up.
The hip flexors fire up (Don't swing the leg. You sly fox.)
Fires up the anterior core, which negates excessive lumbar extension. (More on that here)
The shoulders get a healthy dose of much needed TLC.
The T-Spine (Mid-Back) Gets a move about. <--- Important
Your scientifically-measurably-more-awesome when you're finished.
The bit about excessive lumbar extension and the anterior core not doing its job - For those of you who are scrunching up your eyebrows at the technical lingo - looks like this.
That is not an example of good core control or glute activation.
I'd love to get into the specifics and science as to why it is so important to maintain/promote good T-Spine mobility. Which often times feeds into a lack of shoulder mobility/shoulder owies.
Also, I'd love to get into the science of maintaining/promoting hip mobility and activation in key musculature that typically switches off.
But let's keep things simple.
A loss of T-Spine mobility, weak glutes and poor hip mechanics is extremely prevalent in the office job types. Or anybody who spends 8 hours a day sitting down. World of Warcraft?
That's why this one drill can kill a shit-load of birds with one stone.
Glute, core, eyebrows, everything activation
Off you go to your deadlifts and back flips. Well, within reason.
You're not confined to poor mobility just because you sit down all day
It's abso-fuckin-lutely a factor.
But it only becomes a serious issue over time, if you're doing nothing to inoculate yourself from the impending immobility doom.
So long as you maintain the mobility your body is designed to accommodate. You can be rest assured that you're a long way ahead in the battle against pain free movement.
Not to mention offsetting any faulty, compensatory patterns emerging when you pick up the iron.
Which kinda matters?
This in turn, diminishes your risk of injury substantially. What's more, your technique will be less likely to make others want to cry.
It's too hard.
All the more reason to master it :) But who would I be, not to offer suggestions on how to simplify this drill?
I'd be rude not to.
Opting for either a half press up, or omitting the press up altogether is a wise move. Particularly if you really struggle to do them without grunting a lung out.
The press up element could be reserved for the meat and potatoes of your workout. Such as elevated press ups or band assisted press ups.
Sky's the limit.
Once you're into the forward lunge position, it may help to initially rest the knee on the ground before you reach for the stars. <--- S Club 7 Nostalgia right there.
Millennials will not understand the calibre of coolness we possessed back in the late 90's.
Don't even try.
Still too hard?
Then we need to hang out :)