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exercise of the month

Long Stretch Push Ups

March 2021

Aim

This upper body exercise also works the core abdominals.  Both scapula stabilty and mobility are required in addition to core stability.

Starting Position

Kneel upright with the ball in front of the body touching the thighs.  Lean the body over the ball and place the hands on the floor in front.  Straighten the legs and walk the hands forwards along the floor until the feet come off the floor.  Keep walking the hands forwards until the abdomen and thighs are off the ball but the knees are still on. The body is in a plank position with the pelvis in neutral.  The shoulders are directly above the hands.

Action

Inhale – to prepare

Exhale – to engage the powerhouse and push the body backwards from the shoulder joint.  The hands will now be ahead of the shoulders on the floor and the ball will move up the thighs as the body leans back. 

Inhale - to bend the elbows backwards and lower the body downwards towards the floor, only bending the arms as far as a neutral pelvis allows.  Then pull the body forwards again, keeping the elbows bent.

Exhale - to straighten the elbows and push the body back up to the starting position.

Target Muscles

Deltoids, triceps, pectorals, latissimus dorsi, lower trapezius, transversus abdominis, gluteals, adductors, serratus anterior

Watchpoints

Ensure the core abdominals are engaged throughout to prevent the back from dipping

Maintain the length between the ears and shoulders

Only bend the elbows as far as a neutral spine can be maintained

Try to avoid collapsing in between the shoulder blades.  Engage serratus anterior to maintain the distance in between the shoulder blades

The further apart the hands are, the less challenging the workload

Contra Indictions

Urge caution with any shoulder issues.

Do not perform if there are any wrist issues (carpal tunnel, arthritis, sprains/strains etc)

Urge caution with any back problems (due to the amount of core stability required to maintain a neutral pelvis)

Variation One (Adaptation)

To make this easier, the abdominals will be supported on top of the ball so there is no chance of sagging in the hips and pelvis.  There will be much less core work here.

Variation Two (Progression)

To make this harder, walk forwards until more of the body weight is off the ball.  This is a very challenging position for the core and you must ensure that there is no sagging in the spine whatsoever.  The more of the body that is off the ball, the more challenging the exercise

 

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March 2021

Emma Newham gives you the low down on the Long Stretch and Reverse Long Stretch Push Up exercise on the Gym Ball in this step by step video tutorial guide

View exercise >

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