One of the most widely known and most common exercises in the fitness world is the push-up. Used daily on Marine Corps Base Hawaii and in HIIT workouts everywhere, the push up is a very versatile upper body/full body workout. It’s equipment-free and generally just your body weight, unless you’re working towards an extra challenge and adding weight. You can do a normal push-up with your arms shoulder width apart, or you can opt for a wide push-up, incline push-up, decline push-up, diamond push-ups, or even tricep push-ups. The options are endless. Although the push-up is a low impact exercise for most of your body, they can cause aches and pains in your wrists and shoulders.
Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab in Kailua we treat patients every day that are doing push-ups on a regular basis from active-duty Marines, surfers and crossfitters. Wrist pain from push-ups is common and can often be attributed to poor form. The push-up is a full body workout which means that you should be using your core and keeping your entire body stable instead of putting all the work and pressure into your wrists and shoulders.
Although push-ups are common, that doesn’t mean that they are easy. According to Albert Matheny, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, most people lack the core strength and control to do a proper push-up, even though many fake their way through it. The most important thing in a push-up is stabilization. If you can’t keep your body straight during the push-up, you may want to try an easy version like the incline push-up to start
To avoid getting wrist pain, don’t start doing 100 push-ups per day without getting your wrist mobility accustomed to the motions. To increase your wrist mobility, mention to your physical therapist that you are getting some wrist pain during planks and push-ups. Our PT’s here in Kailua will recommend that you do a Quadruped Wrist Extension and Flexion Stretch or other wrist exercises to gain full mobility and avoid aches and pains. Another great option to avoid wrist injury is to do a closed fist pushup or fingertip push-ups during one of your sets.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, or something doesn’t quite feel right after your workout, give us a call today at 488-5555 to make an appointment. Our physical therapists will work to create a personalized treatment plan to help you be pain free!