Featured Exercise: Push Ups Progression0
By Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, SFT, SFN, NBFE
Push ups are one of many ways to develop upper body strength for scuba diving. Divers working to master push ups may begin by pressing against a wall and then progress to pressing against the floor while kneeling (sometimes called “girl push ups”). But where do divers go from here?
This incline push up on a bench is an excellent transition from kneeling on the floor to a fully extended and well executed push up. The Incline Push Up may be performed at varying heights. The lower the bench, wall, coffee table, couch, etc., the more difficult the push up becomes. Lead with the chest by bringing it to the edge of the bench.
Practice this intermediate version with good form placing hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart in a comfortable position on the edge of the bench. Flex the knees slightly to prevent strain of the low back. If divers feel pain or strain in the shoulders they should stop until shoulders are confirmed as healthy enough to perform push ups. Ideal range of motion at the bottom is when the elbows are just less than a right angle. Remember to fully extend the arms at the top, but do not lock out the elbows.
A good beginning goal is to complete 5 to 15 push ups. With practice, sets of 25 to 100 are possible. Push ups are an excellent way to develop upper body strength and torso stability for diving.
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