Murph Training: The push up and pull up

The Push up:

  • Set up with your hands under your shoulders, about shoulder width apart or a bit wider. Fingers should be facing forward.
  • Throughout the movement, there should be no arch downward in your low back, keep abs and glutes engaged to protect the spine. 
  • Begin with the pits of your elbows pointed forward, this will externally rotate your shoulders and set the shoulders into a strong and stable position.  
  • As you descend, keep everything from your head to toes in one good line, bring your elbows back close to your sides, and don't let any part of your hand come off the ground. 
  • When pushing back up, make sure shoulder blades stay pulled back together, and the rest of your body stays in a good stable position.  

Adaptations / Corrections

  • If you have pain in your shoulders: Make sure shoulders are in the correct position, lats engaged and shoulder blades picked back.  Too much retraction(pushing apart), and elevation(shrugging up) are usually what causes pain in the shoulders during push ups.
  • If you cannot keep spine from changing positions: Your core is what helps keep the spine braced. Without enough core strength or engagement, you cannot hold the proper position.  Grab a band and use the assistance to help keep proper form until you develop more strength.  Ask your trainer for more help!

The Pull up:

  • Begin with palms on the bar facing forward.  For the most stable shoulder position, thumbs should be hooked around the bar, however, if you prefer you can wrap your thumb with the other fingers. 
  • Lats should stay engaged throughout the entire movement.  That means that shoulder blades are shrugged down, and do not pop up at any point. 
  • Again, spine should stay in a stable, neutral position, and abs and glutes should be engaged. This means that your back does not arch as you go through the movement.
  • Pull your chest up to the bar, without moving your head, or letting your shoulders shrug, lower slowly back to the starting position.  

Adaptations / Corrections

  • If you can't keep your shoulders from shrugging: Try a little lean backwards when you start the movement to help engage your lats.  Maybe your lats need more activation before you being your workout, ask your trainer for more help!
  • If you don’t have enough strength yet.  To work up pull up strength, use the resistance bands for help.  Keep track of what you do throughout your training so that you can systematically decrease the assistance.



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