Step 1

Starting Position: Kneel on an exercise mat or floor and bring your feet together behind you.

Step 2

Slowly bend forward to place your palms flat on the mat, positioning your hands shoulder-width apart with your fingers facing forward. Slowly shift your weight forward until your shoulders are positioned directly over your hands. Reposition your hands as needed to allow full extension of your body without any bend at the hips or knees. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core and abdominal muscles ("bracing") and align your head with your spine. Place your feet together with your ankles dorsiflexed (toes pointed towards your shins).

Step 3

Downward Phase: Slowly lower your body towards the floor while maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine. Do not allow your low back to sag or your hips to hike upwards during this downward phase, contract your glutes (butt) and quadriceps (thigh) muscles to create stability for your core. Continue to lower yourself until your chest or chin touch the mat or floor. Your elbows should remain close to the sides of your body or be allowed to flare outwards slightly.

Step 4

Upward Phase: Press upwards through your arms while maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine. As your press upwards, extend your left hip to lift your left foot off the floor, keeping the knee extended. Attempt to avoid rotation in your hip as you raise the left leg off the floor. Do not allow your low back to sag or your hips to hike upwards. Continue pressing until the arms are fully extended at the elbows and your left leg is extended off the floor. Hold this position briefly before returning to your starting position. Repeat with your opposite leg

Pushing through the heel and outside surface of your palm provides greater force in your press and stability to your shoulders.

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