Power of the Pose: Push-ups

As a fast and effective way to strengthen the upper body you can’t beat the traditional push-up.

With the correct alignment you will work into the pectoral muscles, triceps and shoulders as well as abdominals and the muscles spanning the lower back.

For the traditional version, begin with your hands flat to the mat, shoulder-width apart and fingers facing forward.  Scoop the abdominals in, press heels back and slowly lower your body in a straight line towards the floor (avoid sagging the hips). If you only manage a few centimetres that’s ok – that’s the level which becomes your starting point.
Start to slowly and regularly build the amount of push-ups you can do.

To focus more on the tricep muscles, change your arm position so elbows come back toward the waist and hands are slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. Take your body forward (heels will be high, not  pressing back) and lower towards the mat in one straight line.  Most people find this version more difficult so take it slow.

For easier options to begin with, try push-ups on your knees or with hands against the wall (feet, one large step back from the wall). Make sure you maintain a long line through the body.

Feel strong – Enjoy!