It’s hard to come by a unique way to perform arguably the most classic upper body exercise aside from bench pressing this day and age. And anytime that a new exercise is brought to the forefront it should definitely serve a strong purpose in the training program and ultimately contribute to your success. The Foam Roll Press does exactly that and affords you a unique way to challenge your pushup ability to help keep your shoulders healthy, stronger, and bigger if you match the right progression for your ability.
The first variation which is a neutral grip pushup, is an arguably safer and smarter variation to begin with for many. Just like in bench pressing, many people will flare their elbows excessively when performing a pushup. The neutral position automatically limits the flaring issue and teaches you to tuck the elbows, and stay away from the nasty impingement zone. The simple tuck is also great for targeting your triceps a bit more and learning to row with the whole back into your pushup to increase reciprocal inhibition and subsequent force production from your pressing/pushup musculature.
The second variation involves a standard pronation hand, arm, and elbow position as seen in a normal pushup. Another thing definitely worth noting about pushing from a foam roll is the obvious elevation that is created. This allows for slightly greater depth to be achieved and brings a lot of value to the exercise. First, you will create greater activation of the pectoral muscles along with some loaded flexibility training if you happen to be missing some range of motion through shoulder extension. Next, the exercise trains proper stability and control in the total end range of motion which is key if you are a rotational athlete or someone that pushes the boundary with this motion.
Another benefit of the Foam Roll Pushup is the fact you will need to perform the movement at a slower pace, especially eccentrically. When it comes to horizontal push patterns, shoulder stability is a key concern, and the fact you are doing the movement at a slower pace throughout will provide a greater likelihood that your deep shoulder stabilizers are serving the role in maintaining joint integrity and function.
*Pack the neck
*Allow the scapula to mobilize throughout the entire movement into healthy protraction and retraction
*Brace the core and keep the hips extended
*Hold the bottom position to encourage stability at the joint and teach tension throughout the body
*Volume increase w/ sets x reps
*Reduce rest periods
*Remove a leg via hip extension or abduction w/ each rep
*Add weight vest or plate to the upper back