Exercise, Level 3, Weeks 5 & 6
- Kettlebell / Dumbbell Swing
- Alternating Push Ups
Working on ‘Real World’ Strength
Welcome back to Pain Free Lifestyle.
For the next 2 weeks we are going to keep on focus on increasing our functional or real world strength.
We are going to work on strengthening your entire kinetic chain, or all of your muscles as they work together.
The first exercise we are going to add in are what I call alternating push ups.
Traditional push ups, like straight bar and flat bench bench presses, only work the pec muscles, leaving the rotator cuff muscles weak. The pecs eventually overpower the rotator cuff or shoulder muscles, and create shoulder instability, or shoulder and rotator cuff pain.
Adding an element of instability causes you to use your rotator cuff muscles, which will strengthen up the entire front of the chest and shoulder (the entire kinetic chain of the shoulder).
Alternating Push Ups
What I call alternating push ups, are when you start a traditional pushup with one hand on the ground and one hand on a medicine ball, basketball or something similar.
Adding the unstable ball will cause you to use your rotator or balancing muscles in your shoulders to stabilize the motion.
So you have one hand on a ball and one hand on the ground, and you do a pushup. Do 5 pushups and then switch sides and do another 5 pushups.
If that is too easy then you can do one pushup and then switch sides, moving your right hand from the ball to floor and your left hand from the floor to ball, in 1 swift motion.
You can work your way up to pushing yourself up so high off the ground and hard that you can switch hands while in the air, and come down with the opposite hand on the ball and on the floor.
Take your time working up to this last advanced push up.
We are also going to work on strengthening up the entire kinetic chain of your low back, hips, core, legs, knees, ankles and feet by adding a ‘kettlebell swing’ to your routine.
I prefer to do the swing in bare feet, but if you are more comfortable in shoes, then use shoes.
If you are at home and comfortable in bare feet, then try this exercise in bare feet. Make sure to maintain a good arch in your feet while performing this exercise. This is when learning your hinge helps out.
Start out with the weight between your feet, with your feet about a hip width apart.
Bend over while maintaining your hinge and maintaining a neutral back. Bend at your knees while sticking your butt out, and breathe in as you lean forward and grab the weight off the ground.
Breath out as you pop your hips up and forward and use the momentum to push the weight up and forward, away from you.
Breath in as your lean forward you let the weight swing back between your legs and behind your, well, behind.
Breath out as you pop the weight back up and forward in front of you as you contract the muscles in your hips, and core to power the motion.
Go easy and listen to your body. If it hurts or doesn’t feel right, listen to your body and back off from it.
There are many videos online and on youtube with many instructors demonstrating how to perform these exercises.
I recommend starting with Brett Jones of Functional Movement Screening and Strong First.
Have a Pain Free Day.