Aquastrength Foundational Movements: PUSH

Posted by Jane Diack on

This week we explore the first foundational movement in the series, the "push"

People perform numerous pushing activities during the day whether it be mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, or just moving objects throughout the day.

The primary muscles involved in pushing are the Pectorals, Deltoids, Triceps in the Upper Body and the Gluteals, Quadriceps and Calves in the Lower Body.

When performing upper body pushing motions with your client, it is important they have good stabilization of the core musculature. Make sure you move around your client to view them from all angles to pick out common compensations.

Watch for the head pushing forward during movement due to poor upper body posture and rounded shoulders. You should be able to draw a straight line from the ear down to the shoulder and then down to the hip. Watch for one or both shoulders to hike up towards the ears when pushing due to tight upper traps and/or improper motor patterns where your shoulders are stabilizing improperly. Lastly, watch for shoulders to round forward and poor spinal posture (hunched forward) as you push due to weak extensor chain (back) muscles.

Frequent verbal cueing is needed for clients to stabilize appropriately before increasing the amount of exercise intensity. In my experience it will take 1-2 sessions before the client is able to get the correct pattern before increasing the amount of intensity and/or resistance.

Remember Pattern and Posture Before Intensity.




Split Stance Push/Pulls:


In split stance position, perform push/pull motions. Repeat sequence.


  • Keep a Good Upright Posture
  • Push & Pull Equally
  • Keep Core/Buttocks

Possible Compensations to look out for:

  • Crouched Posture
  • Decreased Stabilization
  • Shoulder Elevation
  • Reduced Pulling Motion


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