Yoga Push Up: Strengthen Your Upper Body and Core
It is a versatile pose that builds upper body strength. By integrating the breath and purposeful movements of yoga asanas, push-ups can become a moving meditation. It differs from standard push-ups in technique, pace, and alignment. Read on to learn proper yoga push-up form, modifications for different fitness levels, and the many benefits this pose offers.
Here are step-by-step instructions for performing yoga push-ups with the correct form:
- Start in the plank position with palms under shoulders, core engaged, back straight, and feet hip-width apart. Hands should be shoulder-width.
- On an inhale breath, bend your elbows and lower chest down towards the floor in a slow, controlled movement. Elbows point back diagonally, not out to the sides.
- Descend until the chest nearly grazes the floor. The slower the better for maximum control.
- Shoulders stay aligned over wrists during descent. Do not allow hips to sag or rise up. Maintain a straight line from heels to head.
- On the exhale, steadily press back up through palms to return to starting plank position. Keep elbows close, do not allow the chest to dip.
- Repeat for 5-10 breath cycles, moving slowly and purposefully with the inhales and exhales.
Proper alignment keeps the shoulders stable and prevents lower back strain. Move slowly with breath awareness for maximum yoga push-up benefits.
Modify yoga push-ups to suit different strengths and limitations:
- Wall push-ups – Stand facing the wall about 2 feet away. Lean forward placing palms on the wall and perform push-ups at an incline. Provides support as you build strength.
- Counter push-ups – Place hands on a sturdy surface like a countertop or table. Perform inclined push-ups with the torso in a straight line.
- Knee push-ups – From a plank position, drop your knees to the floor while keeping your back straight. Perform push-up lowering from this modified position. Reduces weight impact.
- Eccentric push-ups – Use a stool or box to elevate at the top. Lower body in slow controlled motion. Step back up to the elevated plank instead of pushing back up. Isolates descent.
- Narrow base – Move hands together closer than shoulder width to increase difficulty and work the triceps more.
Use modifications as needed to find your optimal push-up variation.
When performed properly, it targets these primary muscle groups:
- Pectorals – Pushing back up works the chest muscles.
- Triceps – Straightening the arms uses the triceps.
- Deltoids – Shoulder stabilization relies on the delts.
- Serratus anterior – Protraction/retraction of the scapula engages this muscle.
- Core – Plank position keeps abs and obliques active.
It builds upper body strength while also demanding core stability for a total body workout.
Benefits of Yoga Push Ups
Adding it to your routine provides many benefits:
- Improved muscle definition – Tones pecs, arms, shoulders, and core.
- Increased upper body strength – Dynamic resistance builds pushing power.
- Enhanced chest mobility – Controlled motions improve range of motion.
- Better posture – Alignment demands proper shoulder and back positioning.
- Strengthened joints – Wrists, elbows, and shoulders gain stability.
- Coordination and body control – A slow pace develops motor control.
- Breathwork training – Matching breath to movement builds awareness.
- Low impact – Less joint strain than standard push-ups.
Make yoga push-ups part of a well-rounded fitness regimen. Always modify to avoid injury.
FAQs About Yoga Push Up
Q1. What is the difference between a yoga push-up and a regular push-up?
Answer: Yoga push-ups focus on controlled, mindful motion matched to the breath. Standard push-ups involve faster chest taps.
Q2. Which push-up variation is best for beginners?
Answer: Inclined wall or counter push-ups reduce weight impact for beginners. Knee push-ups also lower intensity.
Q3. How low should you go when doing a push-up?
Answer: Descend until your chest nearly touches the floor in a slow, controlled movement. Avoid compressing the lower back.
Q4. Can it build muscle?
Answer: Yes, when done consistently yoga push-ups strengthen the chest, arms, shoulders, and core muscles. Use proper form and nutrition to support muscle growth.
Q5. How many should a beginner do?
Answer: Aim for 3-5 repetitions, taking each push-up slowly. Build up gradually over time as your strength increases. Avoid overexertion.
The yoga push-up sculpts the upper body in a mindful, controlled manner tied to the breath. Work within your limits, focusing on precision. Over time, yoga push-ups build impressive strength with less joint strain. Integrate this pose into your yoga and strength routines for greater body awareness and definition.