Exercises You Should Do More: Chaos Pushups

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The Chaos Pushup

We’re back with another exercise that you should be doing more, the chaos pushup.


Apart from sounding like one of the coolest exercises you’ll ever do, the chaos pushup is a great way to progress from the standard pushup and develop stability in the rotator cuff.


Pushups are often forgotten about, probably because they’re not as cool or sexy as lifting some iron.


But from my experience, you’d be surprised how many people can’t complete a basic pushup and how effective they can be when used correctly. 


A proper pushup provides you the blueprint for safe and effective horizontal pressing.


That’s why with my online and in-person clients, we focus on developing the pushup pattern before any heavy horizontal lifting.


The chaos pushup takes things a step further as it creates an unstable environment for you to work from and encourages activation of the posterior chain muscles required for stability.


This is most obvious through the shoulder joint, which is stabilised by the rotator cuff during movement.


With this unstable environment, your rotator cuff has to work overtime to stabilise the shoulder or you simply wouldn’t be able to do the exercise.


And it’s not just the rotator cuff that’s working overtime.


From the Glutes, Core and lats, the whole body is pretty much fired up to stabilise itself during the chaos pushup.


There’s no cheating with these, and they’re a great tool to develop strength in the stabilising muscles of the shoulder which will translate it other lifts that utilise the shoulder complex.

Main muscles worked: Pectorals, Deltoids, Rotator Cuff, Transversus Abdominus, Rectus Abdominus

How To Do It

  1. Using a thick band (or bunch of smaller bands), stretch them out over two anchor points. Width of a squat rack works well.
  2. Grab the band with your hands under your shoulders, and get into a pushup position.
  3. Squeeze the band and externally rotate your shoulders (think bending the band)
  4. Brace your core, squeeze your glutes and lower your chest towards the band, keeping the band as steady as possible. 
  5. Once a the bottom, push yourself back up with the same control you went down with, keeping the band as steady as possible. 

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Sam is a Personal Trainer, Online Coach and Fitness Educator with background in achieving results for a variety of clients. Sam now specialises in Pain Free Performance, helping people across the world to achieve their goals safely and effectively. 

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