Pet Peeve: Sad Sack Push Ups

I really think push ups are a great move. When I watch an athlete do a push up it tells me several things:

1) Upper body strength - This one is obvious. It's the binary can they or can't they get from the floor to a plank only using their arms.

2) Core strength - There are guys and gals who can bench body weight, but their push ups look like they're from Snap City because they let their hips roll forward and their back arch like a saddle. cringe

3) Body awareness/ Body control - When the athlete shrugs the shoulder up to the ears. When the athlete fixes their sway back but then immediately loses it. When the athlete can't seem to feel or correct where their elbows are during the descent, or how their body should move in relation to their hand.

The push up is often taken for granted as a simple movement. You just lower yourself and push back up again. If you can't do that, drop to the knees.

Except, there is an actual technique to it.

All to often I'll ask an athlete to hold the elbows in place, or tighten their core, or give full range of motion, be it at the bottom or the top. And they either completely disregard what I'm saying, or honestly don't understand how what I'm saying would apply to their quality of movement. I mean, it's just a push-up, for God's sake!

But as I see it, your push up isn't "just a push up" if you don't consistently try to do it right. And I know if you're trying to do it right because I take stock at the begining of "3, 2, 1, GO!" of everyone's technique.

Check it. Deal with it.