Chest/Pushing Progressions:

By Brent Brookbush, DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS


For a comprehensive review of unstable load and surface training:

Relative Flexibility Progression:

Relative flexibility progressions are general guidelines for exercise selection that can be used while correcting postural dysfunction/movement impairment. Individuals exhibiting signs of Upper Body Dysfunction (UBD) may reduce the chance of compensation by integrating pushing movement patterns in the following order:

  1. Sagittal plane press
  2. Horizontal plane press
  3. Incline Press

Subsystems Recruited:

Back supported chest/pushing progressions places less stress on core musculature; however, standing and push-up progressions require significant ISS and AOS recruitment. As many individuals are AOS dominant it may be wise to start with back supported progressions; pushing through the floor, as if doing a bridge. Pushing through the floor may increase recruitment of the Posterior Oblique Subsystem (POS), which may be beneficial for reducing compensation and improving recruitment patterns.


Shoulder Horizontal Adduction (Horizontal Flexion)

Shoulder Flexion (Sagittal Plane Variations)