This has been a motto of mine for years.
I was inspired by a cardiologist at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas Texas, when he told me (at age 70) that he did his age in pull ups every day! I revised a bit and decided to start doing my age in push ups every day. That was 20 years ago, and it has made me much stronger and more confident.
I pass this on to my students of all ages.
Let’s first establish that there is no such thing as a ‘Girl Push Up’. I prefer to call them modified or knee push ups, and you can do a thousand of those and still not be able to do one on your toes. So let’s get folks doing push ups on their toes from the get-go. Have them start at a wall, and progress to a bench or table, then to the floor.
When your students first try a push up on the floor, let them keep their feet wide, and their butt in the air. Have them work on tightening their core and breathing deeply. Start with one or two inches down and back up. Before long, they will be going deeper, and bringing their feet in. Another way to help them is to use a strap or exercise band. Place the band around their hips, and hold a slight bit of their weight as they perform a full push up. It will give them confidence and teach them where to hold their own strength. This works great as a partner exercise.
Yogis don’t get off the hook with this message. A Chaturanga is simply a tricep push up, and the rules are the same. I like to use what I call “Yogi Push Ups” to celebrate birthdays in my class. Just hope you don’t come to class on my birthday this year, your triceps will be crying!