Why no chest push ups in VIP?

Why no chest push ups in VIP? There is always a method to my madness Shredders & this blog is a MUST read if you want to stay injury free when taking up strength training or you are wanting to get better muscle development.


You will notice in my entire program I do not promote or do chest push ups. Why? They do more harm than good in the long run. I will always perform tricep push ups as it promotes better posture & stability in the upper body. It also gives you much better shape in the back, shoulders & arms.


The main difference between these 2 push ups is that the chest push up is performed with the hands out wide the tricep push up the hands are in narrow. This makes the chest push up a non-functional movement. In layman's terms this means we do not walk around pushing things with our arms out wide. Our natural instinct is to protect the shoulder joint by bringing the hands in narrow when pushing a door open or pushing that annoying person out of the way (kidding :)).  


99% of people who take up strength training have no idea what their shoulder blades are doing when they perform a push up and as a result often get pain in the shoulders and neck along with headaches after a big chest push up bootcamp session.


Some also start to notice their upper neck starts to look a little thicker which is definitely what we DO NOT want. (Well maybe if you’re a rugby player lol)


The chest push up exposes us to injury if we do not have adequate shoulder stability. We need to address shoulder stability first and foremost for the best results.


You will notice in VIP I revisit certain exercises in your back & shoulder sculptor routine. This is no coincidence; I do this so that you really nail our bigger movements like a tricep push up or squat press with the least amount of injury. It brings awareness to where the shoulder blades are sitting in an upper body movement & helps strengthen the right muscles of the back & shoulders.


One of my favorite exercises is simple shoulder blade retraction – this promotes using the mid back rather than the upper neck. The arms stay straight the entire time as we focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together.




We do these in most VIP tracks. The other two exercises that will help promote correct shoulder stability are external rotation (rotator cuff) & trap 3 raise (lower trap). Again these two movements will get you some awesome shape & more bang for your buck in bigger compound or multi joint exercises.


Got a spare 20mins? Press play & try out my back & shoulder workout. You do not need much equipment in this one to get a decent shoulder burn!




I hope this blog helps you stay injury free & get better results Shredders. If you are experiencing upper body woes bring your movement patterns back to basics and ditch the chest push ups. I guarantee you will not regret it.


Yours in hormone health & fitness,

Sally Matterson


 "Sally Matterson is one of Australia’s foremost personal trainers. With over 13 years of industry experience, her cutting edge methods of training are in high demand helping actors, models, athletes & everyday people get their bodies in peak physical condition. As a qualified BioSignature Practitioner (study of hormones & their correlation to fat storage), she has revolutionised the way her customers and followers think about conventional means of weight loss." - Rockpool Publishing