This post could also be named “How To Do a Push Up Without a 7-Day Headache!” 🙂
I’ve rarely seen it discussed anywhere, but I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this problem. I’m talking about how difficult it is to increase your upper body strength – in my case by training for military push ups – without igniting a week-long headache in the process.
I have had the same problem for ages and it has prevented me from effectively increasing my upper body strength. It was a big problem when I was still doing ashtanga yoga – I couldn’t stay long in downward dog (flexibility was no problem), not to speak of chaturangas – without my upper back neck and neck muscles knotting up in agony.
I suppose this is mainly a problem for desk jockeys who typically have tight pectorals and weak upper back muscles (and no core control).
In my case, every time I do push ups, the muscles in my upper neck tighten painfully and in the worst case, cause headaches or migraines. I perused my anatomy books yesterday and came to the conclusion that the culprit is probably the upper trapezius muscle that attaches to the skull – though why it gets overworked when I try to do push ups is a beyond me. [Read more…]