How to do reverse push-ups to strengthen your arms and not hurt your shoulders

A great workout for those who have recently started exercising and working out at home or on the go.

What are backbends and should you do them?

Reverse push-ups are an exercise in which a person places the palms of the hands on a support behind the body, then bends and straightens the arms at the elbow joints.

This exercise cannot be called ideal: it has advantages and disadvantages. Below, we’ll take a closer look at both.

Why are reverse push-ups good?

Here are some of the benefits of exercise:

  1. Good load on the triceps. It is the triceps muscle at the back of the shoulder, which is responsible for extending the arm at the elbow. Según un pequeño estudio realized por ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises / ACE Fitness, las flexiones invertidas activan los tríceps un 87-88% plus el press de banca inglés y la extension de brazos en una máquina de blocks y con mancuernas por encima de the head.
  2. Opportunity to exercise outside the gymnasium. For reverse push-ups, you just need something low like a stable chair or park bench.
  3. Ease of learning. Unlike the uneven bars option, anyone in good health can perform reverse push-ups. They do not require a long technological development and easily adapt to the physical abilities of a beginner.

What’s wrong with backbends?

If you bend your arms sharply and even relax at the end of the exercise, the repeated stress can lead to soft tissue damage around the joint.

Push-ups from the floor do not carry such risks, and the triceps are even better loaded than the reverse ones. But it is still impossible to recognize the latter as absolutely useless and dangerous.

First, unlike normal pushups, reverse pushups put less strain on the muscles of the rest of the body, which means beginners will be able to do more reps and pump the triceps well. Second, the risk to the shoulders can be reduced by following the technique and not exceeding the joint’s natural range of motion.

However, you still shouldn’t do this exercise if you already have problems with your shoulders or elbows. In this case, it would be more rational to use classic push-ups from the support or from the knees.

How to Do Reverse Pushups

In his YouTube video, celebrity trainer and bodybuilder Jeff Cavalier advises doing reverse toe curls.

Due to this configuration, the humerus will not rotate inward, the joint capsule will not stretch, and you will move within a safe range.

Find a stable support about 50 centimeters high and turn your back to it. Place your hands on a raised platform, twist your fingers sideways, bend your knees, and press your feet to the floor.

Straighten your shoulders and lower your shoulder blades. Bend your elbows and come down to the edge of your range. Don’t try to make your shoulders parallel to the ground if that causes joint discomfort.

Keeping your body stiff and your shoulders back, straighten your arms, return to the starting position, and repeat again.

Make sure the body moves parallel to the support. The pelvis should rise and fall in a straight line, not at an angle.

Perform the exercise smoothly, and at the top also stretch the triceps to better pump them.

How to make backbends harder

If you can do 10-15 reps without any problems, try increasing the load on your muscles by slightly modifying the exercise

Straighten the legs

In the starting position, straighten your knees and rest on the floor with your heels. Make sure the body always moves parallel to the support.

Lift your foot

Find another support, similar in height to the first, and place your straight legs on it. Perform reverse push-ups, adhering to all the technical points listed above.

Add weight

Sit on a raised platform, place your feet on a support, and place a weight plate or other weight, such as a storage bag or water bottle, in your lap.

Perform reverse push-ups paying attention to the position of the shoulders. If the weight prevents you from controlling your range of motion and you slouch too much, take a lighter weight or work without.

How to Add Reverse Pushups to Your Program

Do this exercise on the day of your upper body workout, or once or twice a week if you’re strengthening all muscle groups with each workout.

If your routine also includes regular push-ups from the floor or low support, do those first. Then you can go all out and do more reps, then “finish” the triceps with the reverse variation.

Do three to four sets of 10 to 15 reps. If you can do more, change the exercise to something more difficult and consider buying parallel bars. Push-ups on such a projectile will load the triceps and pectoral muscles much better than the version on the rack, moreover, without weights.

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