In bodybuilding and powerlifting, push-ups on the uneven bars are a basic exercise that develops the triceps and pecs.
During push-ups on the uneven bars, the gradual development of the pectoral muscles and triceps is ensured, regulated by the level of load on them, which directly depends on the position of the hands-on the apparatus.
During such training, the pectoralis major muscle develops. This fan-shaped, large and thick muscle covers the upper chest and on the outside forms the anterior wall of the armpit. It consists of sterno-bone and clavicular heads. The sternal head is located in the upper part of the sternum, the six upper ribs of the thoracic region, and in some people, on the external oblique muscles of the abdominal wall. The clavicular head is located on the outer surface of the clavicular bone. The heads are attached to the humerus at the shoulder joint and are parallel. This separation between the two heads of the pectoralis muscle is very clear in some athletes.
The ability of a person to perform certain movements with his hands is provided by the pectoral muscles. So, the movement of the hand to the midline of the body is carried out by the movement of the humerus, which is performed due to the pectoralis major muscle, which turns the arm inward at the shoulder joint. In this case, both muscle heads work simultaneously. The clavicular head helps to move the humerus forward and flex the shoulder joint. The movements of the arm forward, downward and backward occur due to the straightening of the shoulder joint, which is carried out by the sterno-bone head. The return of the hand down after taking it back and behind the back also occurs due to the work of the pectoralis major muscle. This is exactly what happens during push-up exercises on the uneven bars.
During push-ups on the uneven bars, triceps also take part in the work of the hands – the triceps muscles of the shoulder, which have three heads: long (internal), external and medial. During push-ups, the greatest activity falls on the inner (long) head of the triceps, since it is involved in straightening the shoulder and elbow joints. This triceps head is located on the scapula slightly below the shoulder joint, connects to the other heads, crosses the elbow joint and attaches to the elbow of the forearm. The outer head does not cross the elbow joint and is positioned high on the humerus. In the middle of the humerus is the beginning of the medial head of the triceps, which lies under the inner and outer heads. Part of it can be seen just above the elbow joint.
1. In order to start performing exercises on the uneven bars, you need to take the support position on straight arms. It should be remembered that starting from this position allows the muscles to contract and get ready for work. Starting the exercise from the bottom position is undesirable and risky.
2. The next stage of the exercise is to tilt the torso forward, after which, by bending the arms at the elbows, slowly lowering the body between the uneven bars. At the same time, going down, you must resist the weight of your own body, pulling it down. Failure to do so can damage the elbow joint or the pectoralis muscle where it attaches to the humerus. Going down only partially, the medial and external head of the triceps is activated, and the pectoral muscles remain without load. To activate the pectoral muscles, it is necessary to go down so deep that the armpits are at the level of the hands. Only the upper part of the pectoral muscles should be above the uneven bars. This body position makes it possible to stretch and activate the pectoralis major muscles, as the shoulder portions of the arms are pulled far back. If you didn’t lower your body as deeply as you did before, do not rush to achieve the described result instantly. If necessary, stop at a comfortable level for you, and try to lower your body a little lower on the next workout. Remember, until the pectoral muscles are fully stretched, no additional body weights should be used.
3. At the next stage of training, after lowering the body to a level convenient for you, take a two-second pause and lift the body up. If you have set yourself the task of developing the pectoral muscles, spread your elbows to the sides when lifting. In this position, the hands will be turned inward, and the pectoral muscles will stabilize the shoulder sections of the arms and pull them towards the midline of the body. At this stage of the exercise, the middle and lower sections of the pectoral muscles are activated. In this case, it is necessary to maintain the position of the tilt of the body forward, which is achieved by resting the chin on the chest. This position of the body increases the load on the lower chest. If you want to direct the main load to the work of the triceps, then during the entire movement the elbows should be close to the torso, and the body should be in an upright position without bending forward. It should be remembered
4. Slowly lowering the body to the lowest point, you can quickly lift it up. However, do not try to do a quick lift of the body if you have not done so before. When lifting the body, you need to straighten your elbows slowly and confidently. Keep your elbows away from your ribs while lifting.
5. This exercise is cyclical: lowering the body alternates with lifting it. Do it as many times as you can. If at some stage of the workout you cannot complete a full lift of the body, slowly lower to the lowest point and rise to the highest possible level. Repeat the exercise at this pace several times. At the same time, the work of the pectoral muscles, aimed at straightening the shoulder joint and adducting the arms, will still continue, and they will fully stretch during repetitions. If the triceps are tired, doing negative (eccentric) reps is okay. They are performed as follows: lifting to the top point with the help of your legs, and then slowly lowering the body to the bottom.
When, as a result of a sufficient number of workouts, the chest muscles are stronger, and you are able to perform exercises with the greatest amplitude of the upper and lower push-up points, you can use additional weights. This allows for fewer reps to maximize muscle growth. It is necessary to select such a weight of weights that allows you to perform a full push-up 8-10 times. However, be extremely careful when raising and lowering the body. Do not make sudden movements. This can only be done after long workouts, when your muscles and ligaments will adapt to this type of load.
With proper training, progress is made very quickly. The process of adaptation to new loads, as a rule, goes quickly, and a few extra pounds on the belt will not be an obstacle to achieving new successes in this basic exercise.