Functional Movement Pattern Number 6: The Trunk Stability Push Up Test

Ask me what is my favourite exercise and the push-up would be one of my top picks. Why would you say? This may seem a bit weird but part of the reason why the push-up seems to be so important for me is that from my youth experiences, with me being a girl and so on, not that it should matter really, a lot of the guys did not believe that girls could be good in the push-up pattern.

The wake-up call occurred in the army cadets when we were tested for our physical fitness and that the results were not up to par. The standards for girls were lower than the standards for guys and frankly, I refused to accept this. I wanted to train to get the flying colours with the guy standards no matter what afterwards and you know what, it worked! What was my weakness became one of my better strengths and that is why the push-up pattern has a close place within my heart, not that this should be the reason why you should enjoy them.

The trunk stability push-up pattern is a single repetition pattern (trust me, I do enjoy making you do the three trials of push-ups during testing and I do enjoy doing the demos, that is how addicted I am to the push-ups) that tests the reflex of core stabilization when initiating the push-up movement in one single unit (no movement of spines and hips). It’s about having the stabilizing muscles (core) activating before the prime moving muscles (chest, arms). If your core is weak and or disconnected, you will not be having a full score in the test. It is not a joke if you are hearing about the push-up being a great exercise for your core because it is.

After doing the trunk stability push-up test, we do need to do a clearing exam that looks like a cobra or and upward dog in order for you to pass the test with flying colours. Unfortunately, even if you push up is perfect, if you get pain in this test, that means an automatic failure to the test, which means that this may require more investigation.

To end this, doing push ups is not the only way to improving them (OMG I just said that?!). Just building up your core with a single plank or hand walkout is a great way to start improving your push-up pattern but in the end of it you may be able to run away from this pattern for a little bit but you won’t be able to hide from it forever, especially from me 😛 unless you have a medical condition.

Happy Training!

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