Push-Ups on the Mat

What is lovely about the Push-ups is the amount of variety they bring. They will meet you where you are. Make them as simple or hard as you need.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Mat (The mat shown in this video is the Contrology Folding Mat.)
  • Reps: 3 sets of 1-3 reps
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some shoulder or neck issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Push-Ups on the Mat

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I love so much about Pilates! And, then there are the Push-Ups on the Pilates Mat. Not going to lie I do not love these Pilates Push-Ups. They are so hard for me. But, if I follow my own rule of thumb - what we don't like doing is what we need the most - then I have to accept that I simply need to do these Pilates push-ups even more. What is lovely about these Push-ups is the amount of variety that they bring. And, also how they will meet you where you are. You can go out, hold and come back in. Or, go out and jump, clap and come back in. Make these what you need them to be.

Finding your two-way stretch is key for walking in a straight line.

Standing at the top of your mat and facing in, reach your arms overhead. Standing firmly in your feet and double checking that the weight of your body is evenly distributed from toes to heels, feel the reach in two directions. Round forward as if you were doing a Roll-Up. Be mindful that you do not lean back into your heels here or lock your knees. Place both hands in front of your feet. Here I like to make sure I am not leaning back and that I am lifting my center up. Walk your hands out in 4 counts or less. One hand out is one, then the next hand is two. Notice if your hips are swaying side to side. Ideally, you lift so much in your center and root so much through your limbs you can walk out in a straight line.

Once in a plank, do one push-up with your elbows reaching back. Lift your center up and walk back to your feet in a straight line (no hip swaying) in four counts. Roll back up with your arms aligned with your ears. You'll end the way you started. Then roll back down again, walk out and do 2 Push-ups. Repeat this for the third time and do three push-ups. If these are going well for you there are other more advanced variations. You can walk out and do push-ups where you clap your hands, or your feet and both! Typically you do the Push-ups at the end of the Mat work so finish it off with what you need to stand tall and invigorated.

Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!

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