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-   -   Horizontal Pushing Exercises (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=612)

Craig Cooper 03-05-2007 02:40 PM

Horizontal Pushing Exercises
One thing I've always noticed was lacking from CrossFit was horizontal pushing exercises. Bench Press is rarely listed, and it's functionality is questionable, so besides pushups, what are some good horizontal pushing exercises?

Mike ODonnell 03-05-2007 02:54 PM

If you want a more "functional" movement, then you would be standing and pushing a weighted cable/band one arm at a time...Chek is big on those, also good developer for that core strength (I hate using that core word....).

Bench is functional....if you want to have the most bang for your buck for developing muscle size to the chest. I suck at it...but still add it in.

Greg Everett 03-05-2007 04:11 PM

for absolute strength in that plane and direction, the bench rules. the problem with it is not that it's not beneficial, but that because of the limited scapular movement, it's dicey in terms of shoulder health.

instead of benching for that strength, though, you can find ways to really overload a pushup--difficult without a partner and some gear, but totally possible. that would eliminate the primary problem with the bench.

as far as other capacities than strength, just look for push-up variations (of which there are a ton--just read my outstanding push-up article in this month's PM!), standing horizontal pushing throws (e.g. with medicine balls), etc.

Allen Yeh 03-06-2007 04:09 AM

List of my preferences for horizontal pushing:
-incline bench press w/ dumbbells.
-Cable press (similiar to a cable crossover but pressing rather than a fly).
-ring pushups - variations - weighted, feet elevated
-pushups- I skimmed Gregs article really quickly, and to add onto there: band pushups, chain pushups, pushups on a stability ball (I find these can be hard on my wrists after a few sets though).

Robert Allison 03-06-2007 07:03 AM

I agree with Greg that benching is less than ideal for shoulder health. When I bench these days, I rarely take the bar all the way down. This seems to help, at least for me.

I have also been playing around with the Power Pushup II from Lifeline USA...they are nice tool for "overloading" a push-up.

Craig Cooper 03-06-2007 07:35 AM

Great input from everyone, thaks a lot! I was also thinking about tire flipping and sled pushing. I need to get a weight vest, that seems to be the best way to overload a pushup.

Jason C. Brown 03-06-2007 08:36 AM

How about some horizontal pulling also ? We use rings rows alot but I feel rowing is very beneficial for shoulder health.

Steve Shafley 03-06-2007 09:16 AM

I agree completely, JCB, good call.

Rowing, or inverted rows from pullup bars or rings or whatever, is an essential movement.

For those who really go heavy on the posterior chain, the inverted rowing movements are really useful as well, since you can hit the back without statically loading the lower back.

Matt Kroczaleski really repopularized one armed rows when he put a video out on YouTube showing him doing a ridiculous amount of weight for higher reps, as part of his normal powerlifting training, and now you have tons of PLs now doing 1 armed rows again.

I really think that people who don't need to bench for competition, don't really have to ever do a straight bar bench. Dumbbells work far better for gaining size in the chest that the barbell does, for a lot of people.

And, suspended push ups, and other push up variations are highly useful.

Scott Kustes 03-06-2007 11:47 AM

As one with a bum left shoulder (dislocation 18 months ago), I have trouble benching. I can overhead press until the cows come home, but that horizontal movement isn't appreciated by my shoulder. However, I just finished Starting Strength and learned about not breathing during a rep and it helps alot. Before my last benching session, I was still doing the standard "breathe in while bringing the weight down and out while pressing." It also felt like my shoulder was moving around inside the socket, as if my left arm was there, but not "connected" like my right. Well, using the Valsalva Maneuver my shoulder felt rock solid. I was able to put up my bodyweight for 3 sets of 5 without any issues or lack of stabilization whereas a single set of 3 previously was a scary proposition. I doubt I'll be going much above bodyweight because the risk/reward isn't there for me as a non-competing athlete. But it is nice to know how to stabilize the shoulders properly by doing the exercise properly.

Mike ODonnell 03-06-2007 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by Scott Kustes (Post 5957)
As one with a bum left shoulder (dislocation 18 months ago), I have trouble benching. I can overhead press until the cows come home, but that horizontal movement isn't appreciated by my shoulder. However

Scott went throught the exact same thing...injured mine about a year and a half ago too....I found that pushups on the rings was very beneficial to getting my ROM and strength back....still have some issues with dips..but then again probably is that whole AC bone out of whack that I never had looked at....so I'll deal with it.

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