Exercise Ball Push Up Performance Exercise

19 Sep Exercise Ball Push Up Performance Exercise

Athletes require the development of functional strength in both the upper and lower body. Functional strength development is predicated upon multi-joint, total body, integrated, NOT isolated movement patterns.

Human movement and the execution of athletic actions recruit the entire body “feet to fingertips” and in order to create a transfer of training effect from the weight room onto the field of competition, it is necessary for the sport performance coach to address the development of functional strength in the athlete’s strength and conditioning program.

A simple way to address the functional strength component is to address upper and lower body movement patterns. We can classify these movement patterns as follows: Lower body push strength, lower body pull strength, upper body horizontal/vertical pull strength, and upper body horizontal/vertical push strength.

Addressing these aforementioned patterns accomplishes the task of addressing the functional strength requirements of the athlete. One note to mention is the aforementioned movement patterns will be addressed with both unilateral and bilateral movement patterns. For example, a goblet squat and single leg squat to develop lower body push (knee dominant) strength.

Upper body functional strength requires both pushing and pulling exercises. To take this concept one step further horizontal and vertical patterns are needed to be develop. Often times the athlete will not address both the horizontal and vertical patterns within a comprehensive training program, thus limiting the strength developments in the upper body.

It is imperative the athlete address both the vertical and horizontal patterns within their strength and conditioning program. A very good basic to intermediate level upper body horizontal push exercise is the push up with exercise ball. This exercise is classified as an upper body bilateral horizontal push exercise. This exercise requires a high level of stabilization due to the incorporation of the exercise ball.

Improves Your: Upper body bilateral horizontal push strength

Target Area: Anterior chain of the upper body

Why It’s Important: The athlete is required to develop total body functional strength. This includes both upper body push and pull strength.

The Common Problem: An athlete will be limited in terms of upper body strength. This in turn limits the potential for power production, reduces performance during competition, and increases the potential for injury.

The Solution: A comprehensive strength and conditioning program addressing the development of functional strength “feet to fingertips”.

Exercise Ball Push Up

Set Up:

  • Place both hands on the side of the ball shoulder width apart, arms extended, leg straight, and feet together
  • Tighten the lower back, core, and place the hips inline with the shoulders and feet
  • An imaginary straight line should exist between the feet and shoulders in which the hips intersect
  • Do not allow the hips to elevate or sag during the entire exercise



  • Slowly lower the chest towards the ball by bending the elbows
  • Continue to lower the chest until it touches the ball
  • Pause for one second, return to the starting position of the exercise and repeat for 8-15 repetitions
  • Maintain a rigid body position throughout and be sure to move through a full range of motion


About Performance Coach Sean Cochran: Sean Cochran, one of the most recognized performance coaches in sports today. A career spanning positions with 2 major league baseball organizations, over 10 years on the PGA Tour and work with top professionals including three-time Masters, PGA, and British Open Champion Phil Mickelson, future hall of fame Trevor Hoffman, and Cy Young award winner Jake Peavy provides Sean a proven track record of success.  He has been involved in the production of numerous performance videos and authored books including; Performance Golf Fitness, Complete Conditioning for Martial Arts, and Fit to Hit. He has been a presenter of educational seminars for numerous organizations including the world renown Titleist Performance Institute.