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