PUSHING – ANATOMY TRAINS IN TRAINING
Pushing is one of our basic primal movements. The Glenohumeral joint (GHJ) is viewed as a major player in the shoulder girdle in pushing exercises. But what about the scapula, what’s its role during pushing movements?
There was a time when static stability was at the center of movement control. And while it still has its role, often times this meant static control of the scapula during pushing movements. This created notions that push ups should be done without moving the scapula.
From traditional outlooks, the bench press has been THE exercise to improve pushing. One of the challenges with that is the width of the bench doesn’t allow the scapula to move freely with the GHJ.
Unfortunately that often creates overloading of the GHJ, especially on the anterior side. The majority of loading is then concentrated to the GHJ instead of transmitting forces through the tissues associated with the scapula as well. This is one of the reasons to shift our focus from static stability to dynamic control of movement.
By transferring the load as a whole and employing the principles of tensegrity, there is a possibility to minimize injuries and maximize performance. If we have such a movement pattern built in that uses the scapula and GHJ together, we are then using a myofascial continuity to produce the movement, theoretically increasing the available output of strength.
Returning to the bench press example, how many of us need to push things while lying on our back? Some of us do, but it’s probably a minority of the population. Most of us push while standing. Pushing while standing requires a completely different neurological demand than when lying down, and works best when forces are distributed as a whole.
When looking at pushing movements, the myofascial continuities that connect the GHJ and the scapula to the rest of the body need to include the arm lines, most specifically both the Deep Front (concentric) & Deep Back (eccentric) Arm Lines. These two lines help distributed tension throughout the upper extremities.
Going beyond the scapula and GHJ, the Spiral Line should also be considered when pushing since it’s connected to the scapula via the Rhombo-Serratus myofascial unit. The Spiral Line is connected heavily with rotation, which provides standing pushing exercises a huge strength advantage over pushing that’s performed lying down.
Why Use The Body As A Whole?
Because it creates a possibility for recoil. Recoil, when related to movement means active or passive counter movement that elongates myofascia. Quickly elongating the myofascia stores energy, and that energy can be transferred into motion at a really high rate – if the movement itself is performed immediately after counter movement.
We need to move and exercise to be able to stay healthy. One of the issues is how we move. Many of the injuries in the musculoskeletal system are due to repetitive movement patterns. If we pay attention to our movement objectives and see how can they integrate with the whole body, we see how Anatomy Trains in Training can be a big contributor to client/patient movement success.
Anatomy Trains teacher
A-P is an Anatomy Trains teacher, lecturer, author, physiotherapist and personal trainer.
He’s a founding member of Functional Myofascial Training workshops, including one of the founders and senior teachers of Finland’s largest Personal Trainer Education organization – Trainer4you.