Starting Position: Kneel on an exercise mat or floor and bring your feet together behind you.
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 from the knees without any bend at the hips. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core and abdominal muscles ("bracing").
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. 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 flare outwards slightly.
Upward Phase: Press upwards through your arms 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. Continue pressing until the arms are fully extended at the elbows.