Up for the Challenge

The Push Up Device might look a little intimidating, but no matter your level it’s an empowering (and fun!) way to find more integration within your body.

By Noam Gagnon • Edited by Amanda Altman

While teaching privates, workshops and teacher-training seminars in studios around the world, I’ve noticed that the Push Up Device is one apparatus that is often forgotten, sadly gathering dust along the way. My sense is that people don’t use it because they think it’s too difficult, or perhaps that their students aren’t strong enough for it. I don’t believe in backing away from challenges, rather that we get better at what we practice, where we put our time, energy and focus.

What I love about every exercise in this series is that each one is invigorating, empowering and centering, with the power to directly inform what needs to be integrated within the body. But above all, they are fun! Each exercise has the potential to reveal or highlight what the body needs to be working on or paying more attention to. Often I will use all or part of these exercises at the end of a session, depending on the level of my student.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or advanced practitioner, these movements will challenge you. Always be mindful, paying attention and listening to what’s going on in your body. If you are unsure about any exercise, make sure you have a good teacher to guide you to the level appropriate for you. The rule of thumb I tell my students: Full-body integration and strengthening takes time, so be patient, consistent and build accordingly. There is no better time than now to get started! PS

Sneak peak of the exercises…


If you struggle with the mat version of this exercise, doing it with the elevated Push Up Device will help you find more back-and-seat/powerhouse connection.

START Stand in front of the Device with your feet in Pilates stance (heels together, toes apart) or parallel and arms extended by your ears.

MOVE On the last rep of your 3 push-ups, pull your legs in under you, rounding yourself into a tight ball, and then push your lower body through the Device into the Leg Pull position. Keeping your back body connected, lift one leg at a time. Do 3 sets, alternating legs. Pull yourself back into a push-up position, and then roll up to standing.

TIPS Keep your back-body connection active at all times. Try to soften your elbows and knees, rather than locking them. Feel as if you’re standing tall while you’re freely moving your leg up and down.

Get the rest of this article and so much more in the September/October 2019 issue. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.