What To Do If The Push Plus Hurts?

What To Do If The Push Plus Hurts

What To Do If The Push Plus Hurts?

I was flipping through my phone gallery and found this photo from Las Vegas…

Rick and Ric

The guy next to me is Ric Flair, a famous wrestler I watched on TV when I was young. It was cool to meet him at the conference and exchange a few words.

Today, I will answer a common question from my clients about what to do when the push-ups plus exercise bothers your wrist.


Sometimes, the exercise hurts. This happened when I worked with a couple of clients. I previously did a video on the best exercise for the subscapularis muscle, Push Up Plus.

What To Do If Push Up Plus Hurts?

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

Push Up Plus is a great exercise to target the ignored rotator cuff muscle. Here are a couple of the exercise tweaks you can do to make it an effective exercise instead of a painful exercise.

1. Knuckle Push Up

Sometimes people are tight in their forearms and biceps, which makes this exercise painful. So, the first tweak option that you can do is go from open hands to closed fists. Instead of using the palms of your hands, put your weight on your knuckles or fists.

Push-up Plus on Fists

Knuckle Push-Up Plus

2. Forearms Push Up

In a modified push-up position, bring your elbows down to the floor and rest your upper body on your forearms.

Push-up plus using forearms

Forearms Push Up Plus

3. Push Up Plus Under the Shoulders

Place your hands underneath your shoulders. If that causes pain in your shoulders, move your hands out a little further to decrease the stress on the shoulder, and then do the movement.

Push-up Plus Hands Underneath

Push Up Plus Under the Shoulders

4. Chair Push Up

In a modified knee push-up position, grip the sides of the seat of a chair. Then, go through the exercise.

Push-up Plus with Chair

Modified Chair Push-Up Plus

Performing this tweak in a standard push-up position is a little more challenging than the modified knee push-up position.

Push-up Plus with Chair on Toes

Standard Chair Push-Up Plus

This exercise shifts the stress from the upper trapezius muscle and focuses more on the subscapularis muscle. This targets the serratus anterior, a very important shoulder blade muscle.

5. Wall Push-Up Plus

Stand at arm’s length from a wall. With your hands flat on the wall at shoulder height, add a little angle, then go through the movement.

Push-up Plus Using Wall

Wall Push Up Plus

By utilizing the wall, you’ll be able to place the pressure on your hands and keep the wrists in a straight position, which makes the exercise easier with less stress on the wrists and shoulders.

6. Feet Elevated

If your upper body or arms are elevated and your feet are lower, it better targets the serratus anterior and subscapularis, putting less stress on the upper traps.

push-up plus with feet elevated

Push Up Plus with Feet Elevated

The negative part of this variation is that you will work the upper trapezius a lot more. Those muscles are overdeveloped and overactive for most people, affecting how the shoulder blade muscle works. We don’t want to promote the upper trapezius muscle dominating things as it changes how our shoulder and shoulder blade work.

Give those few tweaks a try if you have pain when performing the exercise.

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS

For your guide to eliminating joint and muscle pain, check out The Top 10 Morning Movements to Loosen Up Your Joints here!

0 Morning Movements to Loosen Up Your Joints