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What To Do If The Push Plus Hurts?


Filed Under (General) by Rick Kaselj

I hope you are having a great day.

Before I get to what I have for you today, I want to reflect back on Father’s Day.

I’ve celebrated a number of Father’s Day before but last Sunday was the best one so far.

On Sunday morning, I was flying back from San Diego and the cool thing was they bumped me up to first class.

Since I was not at home with the family, it was nice to have a little luxury and being treated special. Like getting this breakfast:

Fathers Day Breakfast

After not being able to drink coffee or tea because of a strong metallic taste in the water, I decided to have a real Father’s Day drink, a diet rum and coke at 9:30 am. (Not sure if I will do that again because it made writing this article a lot harder and my brain was a little slugging.)

I did make it home in the afternoon and got spoiled by the family.

Before I finish up on talking about Father’s Day, I do want to wish my Dad a Happy Father’s Day…

The Family

He is in some small village in Croatia with my mom, enjoying retirement for the summer. Thank you for being a great role model and all that you taught me. Maybe one of these days, I will be able to grow a real mustache like yours.

Okay, now moving onto something on wrist pain…

I had previously done a video on the best exercise for the subscapularis muscle which is called Push up Plus. Sometimes, the Push Up Plus exercise hurts. This has happened when I have worked with a couple of clients.

What To Do If Push Up Plus Hurts?

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

Before we abandon the Push Up Plus which is a great exercise to target that ignored rotator cuff muscle, let’s go with a couple of tweaks we can do for that Push Up Plus exercise to  move it from a painful exercise into an effective exercise.

I went through the Push Up Plus exercise in detail here. In this video, I will just go through the tweaks that you can do with Push Up Plus.

#1 – Push-up Plus using Fists

If we go from the knees or the toes, sometimes people do not like their hands flat . What you can do is going onto fists and doing the exercise from the fists. Sometimes people are really tight in that forearm and biceps which makes the exercise painful. So, the first tweak option that you can do is just going from open hands to closed fists.


Push-up Plus using Fists

#2 – Push-up Plus using Forearms

The second tweak option that you can do is go from hands and then going down to forearms.


Push-up Plus using Forearms

#3 – Push-up Plus Under the Shoulders

Ideally, you want the hands underneath the shoulders. For some people that causes pain in the shoulders. Just move the hands out a little further and that will decrease the stress on the shoulder and then do the plus movement. This is the third tweak option.


Push-up Plus Under the Shoulders

#4 – Push-up Plus using a Chair

The fourth tweak option that you can do is go from the floor to a chair. Just go through the plus with a chair.


Push-up Plus using a Chair

If I pop up on to the toes, its a little bit more of a challenging exercise as opposed to from the knees.


Push-up Plus using a Chair on Toes

Going from the mat onto a bench or a chair and it shifts the stress from the upper trapezius muscle and focuses more in the subscapularis muscle. This targets more the serratus anterior which is the rotator cuff muscle that is one of the very important shoulder blade muscles.

#5 – Push-up Plus using Wall

The fifth tweak option that you can do is utilizing the wall. You just need to add a little bit of an angle and then going through the plus movement. By utilizing the wall, you’ll be able to have the pressure on your hands and able to keep the wrists in a straight position which makes the exercise easier with less stress on the wrists and shoulder.


Push-up Plus Using Wall

#6 – Push-Up Plus with Feet Elevated

The sixth tweak option that you can do is Push Up Plus with feet elevated. If the upper body or arms are elevated and the feet are lower, it targets the serratus anterior and subscapularis better and putting less stress on the upper traps. This is a key thing to remember.


Push-up Plus with Feet Elevated

If you are doing push ups with your feet elevated, you are going to work your subscapularis and the serratus anterior more. The negative part is that you will work the upper trapezius a lot more and for most people those muscles are over developed and over active which affects how that shoulder blade muscle works properly. We don’t want to promote that upper trapezius muscle dominating things as it changes how our shoulder and shoulder blade work.

If you have pain when performing the push up plus exercise, those are a couple of tweaks that you can do in order to move it from a painful exercise into an effective exercise.

Make sure you swing by ExercisesForInjuries.com. Enter in your injury or pain. There’s good chance that I have an article, a video, or an interview that will help you overcome your injury or pain. Secondly, if you’re watching this on YouTube, head up above and hit subscribe. What that will do is, every couple of days you will get a video like this where I talk about overcoming injury and pain. Lastly, head down below hit like or leave me a question or a comment.

If you want to say goodbye to years of chronic wrist pain and discomfort once and for all while regaining your wrist strength, then check out the Fix My Wrist Pain program here:

Fix_My_Wrist_PainTake care!

Rick Kaselj, MS


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