Basic Wall Push Up with a Roller

Basic Wall Push Up with a Roller

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.

This basic wall push up with a roller, works core and upper body, especially shoulders. It is a great starter push up for beginners or those with neck, shoulder or back issues as there is less your body weight to move. It is however a great strengthening exercise that can easily progressed to become quite challenging. The video demonstrates a basic push up with full elbow extension.

Set Up:

  • in standing, feet parallel and feet and knees hip width apart,
  • low back in a neutral position, deep tummy contracted at a low level,
  • roller horizontally on a wall, at shoulder height, or slightly lower,
  • both hands on the roller (with thumbs adjacent to fingers, not stretched around roller), wider than shoulder width apart.
  • elbows straight (ie extended) but not locked. NB if you suffer from neck pain, start with your elbows flexed.
push up on a wall with a roller, start position


  1. lean body weight gently onto roller, onto wall, maintaining elbow extension,
  2. gently contract shoulder blade muscles, ie squeeze together, down and back a little, and maintain this slight contraction,
  3. then breathe in, bend elbows and lower chest towards roller, maintaining deep tummy contraction and gentle shoulder blade contraction throughout,
  4. your head should stay in line with your body, don’t poke your chin out,
  5. breathe out and straighten elbows and return to starting position,
  6. repeat x 10-15.
push up with a rollerwall push up


  • the roller is a cylindrical object on a flat wall so you need to maintain pressure on the roller to stop it slipping down the wall while you perform your basic push up,
  • upper neck muscles need to stay relaxed. If they are being activated, flex elbows and/or  move feet closer to the wall and/or lower the roller on the wall,
  • there should be no neck or back pain, just shoulder fatigue.
  • try not to let your hips sag forward,
  • review scapula stability progressions if you are still having difficulty.

Make It Harder:

  • rise up onto toes and perform the wall push up on a roller as described above,
  • rise up onto toes and then extend one leg, from the hip, behind you. Perform push up as described  above and then repeat with other leg extended,
  • do a single arm push up by moving hand so that it is directly in line with shoulder and in the middle of the roller and then perform push up as above.
  • try doing a push up on the floor with the roller (see advanced exercises).