Push-Up Position

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
Push-Up Position
5
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 2:05pm
An instructor said something in class today that really confused me. She said that military-style push-ups don't work the core muscles as well as push-ups on the knees. She said we can better engage the ab muscles when our bodies are not fully extended. Is that true? I always thought you drop down to your knees only if you can't do military push-ups. Now, I'm hearing that the alternative push-ups give you a better workout??? I feel the push-ups more when I stick with the military push-ups but I'm questioning myself now. Am I doing the military ones because it boosts my ego or am I really getting a better workout? What's the truth about push-ups? How do you get the best workout?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 2:11pm
I'd have a tough time believing that too (though if it's true I'm all ears)! I know when I'm doing the military-style pushups, I can FEEL my core muscles are active, but with knee pushups I can't. Even just looking at the physics--your center of gravity is in your hips. The longer the levers between your center of gravity and your points of support, the more strength you're going to need to keep in proper pushup alignment.

Anybody with training?

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 2:40pm
yeah, i agree with judie the longer lever length means you are engaging more muscles and working your muscles harder. i can't think of any way in which doing push ups on knees works any muscle harder.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 2:40pm
Well, no training, but I agree with both of you. Doing a military push up is like adding work to the plank position. If you don't have good form, you droop in the middle so you have to work harder to be straight where you don't on your knees. Soleil?






Avatar for soleilune
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 4:19pm
Judie has it right. Although the pecs are the active muscle , those core muscle are acting as stabilizers, so the the longer the lever & the increased number of 'points of instability' (base of the neck, low back, hips, knees, ankles - joints in other words) the greater the stress on the stabilizing muscles. However, the two different positions tend to require different stabilizers in varying degrees. The instructor may be weaker in the ones required for the modified pushup leading her to believe its harder on the core muscles in general.
Soleilune
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 2:36pm
DARN!