yoga stability push up

Yoga Stability Push Up

yoga stability push upI’ve recently been playing around with a variation of the yoga push up on an unstable surface.  The yoga push up exercise integrates a push up with a plus with the downward dog yoga position.  You can also perform this exercise on an unstable surface, such as a stability ball.

How to Perform the Yoga Stability Push Up

Here are a few of my coaching cues during the yoga stability push up:

  • Place the stability ball up against a wall.  The instability provided the ball is plenty, having the ball mobile isn’t needed and may not be safe.  Also, don’t perform this on turf as it is sometimes hard to keep the feet from slipping.
  • Start at the beginning plank position at the top of the push up.  In this position prep you body by finding neutral spine and performing a mild abdominal brace.  Keeping the core stable with enhance the mobility benefits at both the shoulders and hips.
  • Perform a push up but on the push back up focus on your hands pushing up and out above your head to drive your hips up high.  Protract your shoulders to perform a “push up with a plus.”  Be sure to keep your core stable and hinge at your hips.  You should feel both your abdominal area and glutes engage.


Benefits of the Yoga Stability Push Up

There are many benefits of incorporating the yoga stability push up into your routine.  The three big things I am looking to improve with this exercise are:

  • Shoulder and scapular stability.  Performing a push up on an unstable surface has been shown to enhance scapular muscle activity compared to a traditional push up.  This can also be said for the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Serratus anterior activity.  The push up with a plus includes both upward rotation and protraction of the scapula, the two motions of the serratus anterior that when performing together have been shown to enhance serratus activity.
  • Hip mobility.  By adding the downward dog yoga hip hinge portion of the exercise, you drive more elevation of the arms, but also help facilitate a hip hinge pattern.
5 replies
  1. Mike Reinold
    Mike Reinold says:

    Travis, I see what you are saying but I don’t mind his lumbar spine. He is stuck in an anterior pelvic tilt so part of his curing was to posterior tilt the pelvis and really squeeze glutes and core. This was actually intentional with him. Sometime I have people perform some of my exercises with varying degrees of pelvic positioning.

    • Travis
      Travis says:

      I can understand the glut squeeze for certain individual cases. Can you explain the third point of hip mobility and hip hinge. Was the goal posterior pelvic tilt. I guess I am just missing much hip movement at all.

      • Mike Reinold
        Mike Reinold says:

        There is definitely a hip hinge, it isn’t huge but it’s there. His hips break as he does the movement. This is not the primary goal of the drill but an added benefit.

  2. Travis
    Travis says:

    I like the idea but the model in the example can’t control his lumbar spine. I don’t see the hip hinge with him. Does he have poor hamstring length/mobility? Is this exercise just to advanced for him? I think the cost to the lumbar spine needs to be factored into the equation and weighed against the other stated benefits of muscle activation of rotator cuff and serratus.

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