The 90 degree push up is an exercise that is done by handstands. It is an advanced level of push up you can aspire to after you have mastered floor push-ups and pike push-ups.
To do his exercise:
- Find a strong sturdy smooth surface. Ensure that it’s not slippery or coarse.
- Get into handstand position.
- Slowly lower your legs into the Planche position. This is whereby your body is parallel to the ground. All your weight is supported by your hands.
- Raise your legs back over your body to a handstand to complete one push up.
If you are a beginner at the 90 degree push up, you can try this method instead:
- Place an object with a flat surface on the floor, something such as a box or chair. Make sure it has free space all around it to prevent injury in case you fall. The support should be at least half your height.
- Stand with your body facing away from the bench by three feet.
- Place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.
- Place your feet on the bench the walk your feet and hands backwards to keep your torso perpendicular to the floor.
- Keep your hips above your head, your head between your hands, and your legs at a 90 degree angle from your trunk.
- Keep your knees straight and your toes pressing into the bench.
- Push your hands to straighten your torso.
- Lower your head slowly while you raise your body. Lower it until it touches the floor.
- Point your elbows towards the chair.
- Press into the floor with your hands and use your shoulders and core to move back to starting position.
- Repeat up to eight times.
WHAT MUSCLES DO 90 DEGREE PUSH UP WORK?
The 90 degree push up is a calisthenics and body exercise that targets the chest. It also targets the glutes, lower back, triceps and biceps.
1. CHEST MUSCLES
The pectoralis muscles are engaged when doing a handstand push up. Because you have to support your weight against your hands, your chest, shoulders and core provide ample support.
The muscles below your ribs are also engaged and can be toned by doing the 90 degree push up.
The 90 degree pushup also engages the deltoids. These are the muscles that help move your shoulders.
They are the muscles that help lift your arm. Working them can help you prevent injury when lifting and moving your arms.
The 90 degree push up helps strengthen these muscles more than regular push-ups. This is because a regular push up takes off up to 60% of your body weight.
The 90 degree push up can help you strengthen your core muscles. This refers to the box of muscles that include the abs, diaphragm, lower back muscles, glutes and pelvic floor.
Core strength is important because it helps stabilize your body.
When you contract your trunk to hold your body stable during the 90 degree push up, you engage your core.
The 90 degree push up engages your triceps. These are the muscles on the back of the arm.
When you put your weight on your arms and make the push up motion, this engages the triceps and helps them become stronger.
BENEFITS OF 90 DEGREE PUSH UP
There are multiple benefits to doing the 90 degree push up.
1. REDUCE RISK OF INJURY
Engaging the different muscle groups helps reduce the risk of injury.
Constantly keeping the muscles in your shoulders, arms and core fit helps make sure that you don’t hurt them when doing day to day activity.
Keeping your core fit also reduces the risk of back pain. This is especially useful if you have a job where you sit a lot or lift heavy objects.
2. IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE AND BALANCE
Research shows that working on your core helps keep your back straight and your muscles balanced.
Working on your core helps you maintain balance when you’re standing, sitting, working out or when you’re bumped into with great force.
3. BLADDER CONTROL
Working on your core and trunk muscles helps with bladder control.
The diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles work together to give you spinal stability which reduces abdominal pressure on your spine.
When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, this can lead to a condition called incontinence.
ALTERNATIVES TO A 90 DEGREE PUSH UP
The 90 degree push up is a very advanced workout. It can only be done by people who are extremely fit and have managed to master the handstand and how to hold their weight for a 90 degree push up.
It can also be a risky exercise. If you are not properly balanced, you can easily fall.
If you are a beginner or need a break from the 90 degree push up, here are some alternatives you can use.
1. PIKE PUSH UPS
This is a great exercise for shoulder strength and can be used to practice for the 90 degree push up.
To do this exercise:
- Place your hands on the floor or bars positioned shoulder-width apart. Put your feet on the ground or slightly higher on a bench behind you.
- Keep your feet closer to you than a regular push up. Keep your feet close together and your knees straight. Your butt should be the highest part of your body.
- Keep your head between your hands and lower your body slowly.
- Once your hair grazes the floor rise back up for a complete rep.
2. SUPERMAN EXERCISE
To do this exercise:
- Lay down on your belly with your arms stretched forward and your legs straight as well.
- Raise your arms slightly above your head as if you are flying like Superman.
- Push your hips against the floor, contract the muscles down the back of your body and raise your legs off the floor.
- Hold this position for the length of the exercise.
- If you find it difficult to hold the position, raise one arm and the opposite leg.
This is a dynamic exercise that combines bodyweight and cardio.
To do this exercise:
- Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat and touch the floor with your hands beneath your shoulders.
- Put your weight on your hands then stretch your feet out behind you. At the same time, bend your elbows and lower your body like a push-up.
- Press your body back up then jump your legs forward beneath you and land with your feet at starting position.
- When getting back into standing position, you can clap your hands above your head to increase movement.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN DOING THE 90 DEGREE PUSH UP
Avoid doing this on a hard surface. It is easy to lose your balance and fall when doing the 90 degree pushup. Ensure you are on a padded surface.
Do not let any other part of your body apart from your hands touch the floor.
Do each rep slowly. Doing it too fast relies on momentum rather than engaging your muscles.
Make sure your elbows point backwards and aren’t flared outwards. Flared elbows lead to more strain in your shoulders.
If your back isn’t straight, it could lead to a poorly engaged core which can cause lower back pain.
When doing a 90 degree push up you need to ensure you complete a full range of motion. Don’t do a small pulse and count that as a rep. You need to ensure you complete a pushup. If you can’t complete a motion, switch to an easier exercise where you can complete the pushup motion then practice the 90 degree push up.
This exercise is complex and is reserved for experts.
Ensure you are getting adequate supervision when trying it for the first time.
If you can do handstands and want to try the 90 degree push up, make sure you start small and start slow.
Consult your doctor if you have a history of shoulder pain, back pain or are recovering from injuries in those areas.