Yoga Push Up: How To Do the Yoga Push-Up Effectively

July 25, 2024
April 24, 2024
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Are you looking to master the art of a challenging yet rewarding yoga push-up? Imagine flowing seamlessly from a strong plank position to a graceful, controlled descent, engaging your core, arms, and shoulders with intention and precision.

Get ready to discover the transformative potential of this foundational yoga pose and unlock a deeper connection between your body and breath. Let’s embark on this empowering journey together and unleash the full benefits of the yoga push-up!

Key Takeaways

  • Muscles Targeted: The primary muscles worked during yoga push-ups include the chest, with the secondary engagement of the abs, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Proper Form: Maintaining proper form, including elbows close to the body, straight back, and controlled movement, is crucial for maximizing the benefits of yoga push-ups while minimizing the risk of injury.
  • Sets and Reps: Beginners can start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps, intermediate level can aim for 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps, and advanced practitioners can challenge themselves with 4 sets of 12-15 reps.
  • Benefits: Incorporating yoga push-ups into your routine strengthens upper body muscles, enhances core stability, improves shoulder stability, increases mind-body awareness, boosts metabolism, improves posture, enhances functional strength, and promotes a strong mind-body connection.
  • Variations: Different variations, such as the pike push-up, diamond push-up, and the classic yoga push-up, offer options to target specific muscle groups or add variety to your workout routine.

What Muscles Does Yoga Push Up Work?

The yoga push-up, also known as Chaturanga Dandasana, primarily targets the following muscles:

Shoulders (Deltoids): The shoulders are heavily engaged as you stretch because they are responsible for stabilizing and lowering the body during the descent phase of the yoga push-up.

Chest (Pectoralis Major): The chest muscles are engaged to support and control the movement of lowering the full body weight towards the floor in a controlled manner.

Triceps: The triceps muscles are activated as they work to extend and bend the elbows and push the body back up to the starting position.

Core Muscles: The entire core, including the abdominals and lower back muscles, must engage to maintain proper alignment and stability throughout the movement.

Serratus Anterior: This muscle is crucial for stabilizing the shoulder blades and is activated during the protraction of the shoulder blades in the yoga push-up.

In general, the yoga push-up is a superb compound workout that engages various muscle groups at the same time, providing a demanding and efficient full-body exercise.

How To Perform Yoga Push Ups

Yoga push up step
Yoga push up 
pushing body up with hands

It’s important to note that the push-up yoga pose differs from the standard push-up typically performed in a gym or fitness class. Understanding the nuances of this movement can aid in maintaining proper alignment, allowing for maximum benefits while minimizing the risk of injury.

The yoga push-up, or Chaturanga Dandasana in yoga terminology, is a beneficial bodyweight exercise that focuses on engaging multiple muscle groups. Here are the steps to execute a yoga push-up:

Starting Position: Begin in the plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, wrists directly under your shoulders, feet and toes tucked under, creating a straight line from your head to your heels.

Engage Core Muscles: Engage your core by drawing your stomach and navel towards your spine and keeping your body in a straight line.

Lowering Phase: Slowly lower your body towards the floor while keeping your elbows close to your front ribs and maintaining a straight back. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor, forming a 90-degree angle at the elbows.

End Position: Hold yourself in a low plank position (Chaturanga) for a moment, ensuring proper alignment and muscle engagement.

Upward Phase: Push through your palms and press yourself back up to the starting plank position. Keep your legs straight and core engaged throughout the movement.

Repeat: Perform several repetitions of the yoga push-up, focusing on maintaining control and alignment throughout the exercise.

Remember to breathe deeply and listen to your body’s limits while performing yoga push-ups to avoid strain or injury.

Sets And Reps

For yoga push-ups, you can start with the following recommendations for sets and reps:


  • Sets: 2-3 sets
  • Reps: 8-10 reps per set


  • Sets: 3-4 sets
  • Reps: 10-12 reps per set


  • Sets: 4 sets
  • Reps: 12-15 reps per set

Feel free to adjust the number of sets and reps based on your fitness level and goals. Focus on maintaining proper form and controlled movement throughout each repetition.

Benefits Of Yoga Push Up

The yoga push-up, also known as Chaturanga Dandasana, offers a variety of benefits for both the body and mind. Here are some key benefits of practicing it:

  • Strengthens Upper Body Muscles: This exercise targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles, helping to build strength and endurance in these areas.
  • Improves Core Stability: The engagement of the core muscles during the movement helps to improve overall core strength and stability, which is essential for maintaining proper posture and balance.
  • Enhances Shoulder Stability: By engaging the shoulder muscles and stabilizing them in the lowered position, yoga push-ups help enhance shoulder stability and reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Increases Mind-Body Awareness: Practicing this movement requires focus and concentration on proper alignment and breath control, promoting mindfulness and awareness of your body’s movements.
  • Boosts Metabolism: Performing yoga push-ups can help increase heart rate and boost metabolism, making it a beneficial exercise for calorie burning and weight management.
  • Improves Posture: Strengthening the muscles involved in yoga push-ups can help improve overall posture, reducing the risk of back and shoulder pain associated with poor posture.
  • Mind-Body Connection: The flow and mindfulness required in yoga push-ups help foster a strong mind-body connection, promoting overall well-being and relaxation.

Incorporating it into your fitness routine can provide a wide range of physical and mental benefits such as helping you to improve strength, stability, and body awareness.

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Yoga Push Up Variations

Yoga push-up variations offer a diverse range of challenging movements that not only target your upper body strength but also engage your core, balance, and flexibility. Here are three different variations:

Pike Push-Up

pike push up
  • To execute a pike push-up, begin in a downward dog pose, ensuring your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your hips are raised high.
  • Descend by bending your elbows close to your body to lower your head towards the ground.
  • Press back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.

Diamond Push-Up

diamond push up
  • Commence by assuming a plank position, with your hands positioned close together directly under your chest to create a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers.
  • Lower your body towards the floor by bending the elbows, maintaining their proximity to your sides.
  • Push back up to the starting position by straightening your arms.

You may also like: Yoga Mat Workout

These variations provide options to target different muscle groups or add variety to your workout routine. It’s essential to maintain proper form and alignment in each variation to maximize their effectiveness and prevent injury. You can incorporate these variations into your regular workout routine to challenge yourself and continue progressing in your strength and fitness goals.


In conclusion, mastering the art of the challenging yet rewarding yoga push-up opens doors to not only physical strength but also mental and spiritual nourishment. As you embark on this journey, think about the benefits you hope to gain. Perhaps, that will be a great motivation for you to push yourself with yoga.

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What are yoga push ups good for?
What is a yoga push up called?
How can I modify the Chaturanga pose if I am not able to perform it yet?

Sara Angle and Kristen Geil, NASM-CPT. (2022). How to Do Chaturanga aka a Yoga Push-Up. Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar 2024].

Derek Haigler. Push-Up Pose: How To Do the Push-Up Pose Effectively. Available at: [Accessed 28 Mar 2024].

About authors
Jessica Brown
Written by
Jessica Brown is a 29-year-old freelance copywriter who is passionate about human nature and is now immersing herself deeply into the realm of health and wellness. Jessica holds a Master of Arts in Literary Studies from the National University of Singapore and a Bachelor's in Biology from the University of Cambridge.