Yesterday I had the best session with a client who’s had back pain since 1987. He’s avoided push-up exercises for as long as he can remember for fear of hurting his back.
It’s not that he can’t do a push-up; he totally can. His back just pays the price when he does.
We’ve been working together for a couple of months, and he’s ready to move into my Tuesday/Thursday morning class, so I knew it was time to cover push-up alignment.
After going over the form points, he slowly and methodically did three push-ups with spectacular form as his body trembled from the challenge.
His response afterward?
“I couldn’t do very many of those.”
His expression was one I’ve come to recognize when someone feels muscles they’ve never known they had.
Then he said, “I could do 100 like this.” He did a pushup with shoulders shrugged into his ears, chin lifted, shoulder blades squeezed together, and elbows out to the side.
“But I can barely do one like you just showed me, and I’ve never felt my core like that in my life.”
(Side note: core activation is a hidden benefit of rib and pelvis alignment—no ab crunches necessary!)
In today’s video, you’ll learn this aligned approach to a push-up that had my client trembling in such a great way.
I’m not gonna lie; it’s super challenging, and it might take a few attempts to get the hang of it, but it is SO worth it when you do it right!
When you maintain your push-up form, you will:
- build strength & bone density in your back to help keep your spine upright as you age,
- create more balance in your deep shoulder muscles and help prevent rotator cuff injuries,
- and work your core like never before!
Adding muscle tone to the arms, particularly the triceps, is another fantastic side effect.
I’d love to hear how it feels for you. After you try it, be sure to let me know in the comments below the video.
P.S. If getting on the floor is a challenge, check out this standing variation of the exercise instead:
P.P.S. Learning about alignment helped save my neck and shoulders after years of chronic pain.
Now I love helping you enhance your alignment, so you feel stronger and more flexible—and I’ve gotten really good at it!
If you’d love to learn more about alignment so you can feel more freedom and ease in your body, check out the Pilates Tonic Online (PTO) membership.
PTO is a self-paced membership that costs $55 a month.
Every month, PTO members receive the following:
- Two live Zoom classes + the class recording (so you never have to worry about missing a class)
- Two new movement videos
- The Membership Journey: a roadmap for alignment success so you get more out of every other exercise you do
- Unlimited access to the PTO video library
- Weekly emails