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Injury Risks With the Perfect Push Up

by
author image Jolie Johnson
Based in Austin, Texas, Jolie Johnson has been in the fitness industry for over 12 years and has been writing fitness-related articles since 2008 for various websites. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from the University of Illinois.
Injury Risks With the Perfect Push Up
The Perfect Pushup was designed to alleviate wrist strain from traditional push-ups. Photo Credit Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Overview

The Perfect Pushup is a piece of home fitness equipment. The two rotating handles were designed to assist users in performing a perfect push-up--one that doesn't strain your wrists or shoulders. The American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit fitness organization, tested the effectiveness of the Perfect Pushup. It found that although it does provide you with a challenging workout, it may also increase your risk of injury.

Overstretch

The Perfect Pushup elevates your hands off the floor. The advantage to this position is the increased range of motion. Doing a push-up with your hands flat on the floor limits how far you can lower your body. With your hands elevated, you can continue dropping your body past your hands. However, if you are not accustomed to this increased range of motion, you may overstretch your chest and shoulders. This is especially likely if you fail to warm up properly. The overstretch could result in a tear in your chest muscles or rotator cuff muscles.

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Stabilizer Injury

The handles of the Perfect Pushup are designed to rotate. The rotation alleviates wrist and shoulder strain. It also increases the instability of the exercise. This makes the Perfect Pushup a more challenging exercise than a standard push-up. It can also increase your risk of injury. The four rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder are responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint. These are small muscles that can be prone to injury. If you lack the shoulder strength necessary to stabilize your upper body on the Perfect Pushup handles, you may cause injury to your shoulder joint.

Low Back Injury

For many, low back pain goes hand in hand with doing push-ups. Allowing your hips to sag will place stress on the low back. To protect your low back, engage your abdominal muscles. Your abs are responsible for stabilizing the torso in the push-up position. Activating your stomach muscles will transfer the work away from the low back. Once you relax your abs, your low back once again takes on the stress of stabilizing your torso. Performing push-ups on the Perfect Pushup is more challenging due to the instability of the handles. Holding this position is more difficult for your core. If your abdominal muscles cannot handle the load, you will feel the strain in your low back.

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References

Demand Media