Yoga Push Up: Strengthen Your Upper Body and Core

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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 differ 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.

Proper Form:

Here are step-by-step instructions for performing yoga push ups with correct form:

  • Start in 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 elbows and lower chest down towards floor in a slow, controlled movement. Elbows point back diagonally, not out to sides.
  • Descend until chest nearly grazes 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 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.

Modified Versions:

Modify yoga push ups to suit different strengths and limitations:

  • Wall push ups – Stand facing wall about 2 feet away. Lean forward placing palms on 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 torso in a straight line.
  • Knee push ups – From a plank position, drop knees to floor while keeping back straight. Perform push up lowering from this modified position. Reduces weight impact.
  • Eccentric push ups – Use stool or box to elevate at top. Lower body in slow controlled motion. Step back up to 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.

Muscles Worked:

When performed properly, it target 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 build 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 – 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.


What is the difference between a yoga push up and regular push up? Yoga push ups focus on controlled, mindful motion matched to the breath. Standard push ups involve faster chest taps.

Which push up variation is best for beginners? Inclined wall or counter push ups reduce weight impact for beginners. Knee push ups also lower intensity.

How low should you go when doing a push up? Descend until your chest nearly touches the floor in a slow, controlled movement. Avoid compressing the lower back.

Can it build muscle? Yes, when done consistently yoga push ups strengthen the chest, arms, shoulders, and core muscles. Use proper form and nutrition to support muscle growth.

How many should a beginner do? 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.


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