by Don Heatrick

One of the kings of bodyweight exercise, the push up, is often practiced with poor form.

Form that translates into your straight punches, particularly as you get tired.

Fighters know that rotating the fist too early results in chicken winging, the elbow prematurely flaring out.

And that this not only telegraphs your punch to your opponent, but also leaves your ribs more exposed to a counter, such as a kick for example.

Yet, it’s not uncommon to see this flared elbow pressing habit repeatedly drilled (and strengthened) while doing push ups.

Correctly performing push ups not only drills the habitual patterning that prevents the dreaded chicken winging while punching…

But also strengthens the particular muscle fibres of the chest, shoulders and triceps in this position, meaning that this shape “feels” the strongest, even as your tire.

Watch those that practice push ups with flared elbows, as they fatigue, their body will resort to the pattern they feel stronger in – the chicken wing!

It’s important that you look at your strength and conditioning training also as skilled movement pattern training.

The stronger the movement, the more likely it is to unconsciously appear.

That all said, lets take a quick look at how to perform the push up correctly…

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

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