HANDS ON THE FLOOR – otherwise you’ll have next to no chance of lifting yourself up! Place your hands just outside your knees. Your hands ideally will be pointing straight ahead (if you have the wrist flexibility). Turn them out slightly if you don’t or if you want to ease the pressure on your wrists.
LOCK-OUT THE ARMS – just like any of these gymnastic drills. We want biceps spun forward, with the arms totally straight.
PROTRACT THE SHOULDER BLADES – spread them apart, feel the upper back stretch and hold that feeling throughout.
TURN ON THE POWER – then, without letting the arm position change at all, start to press into the floor.
SUCK THE KNEES UP – as close to your stomach as you can using your abdominal and hip-flexor strength.
LIFT OFF – keep pressing into the floor with your arms and suck your knees up as close to your stomach as you can. If you’re good enough, you will be able to lift your feet of the floor too. If not, make sure your feet are resting on the floor, but only as much as required. The goal is to get airborn.
HOLD! – now you’re here, hold!
Fear not, these can be beginner friendly, but I do like to tweak the above a little. The above describes the procedure for those who can come off the floor–or are at least very close to it. This is how it’s done in a more beginner-friendly manner:
HOW TO DO IT WITH TOES DUG IN
Follow the procedure above but with your toes dug in. Focus on setting the arms, then the shoulder blades and then suck your knees up, but with both feet still down.
Make sure your knees are in line with your hands when you start though, we want to be crunched up or 'tucked'; not spread out with a plank-like body position.
If it’s still too tough, keep extra weight back in your feet. If you’re getting the hang of it, shift more weight forwards to your arms. At this stage we want the hardest position you can hold–well – for 10 seconds.
HOW TO DO IT WITH FEET FLAT
The next level (which sounds more gruesome than it is), is exactly as above, except we no longer dig the toes into the floor, rather, the toes are taken away and the top of the foot should be resting on the floor.
This automatically forces more weight into your hands (and remember the ultimate goal is to have 100% of the weight on your hands).
If your ankle hurts, you're not ready for this yet. Otherwise do it like this from now on. This is, of course, what we describe in the original description above, but there’s one other thing…
HOW TO DO IT WITH ONE FOOT OFF
For the next progression, lift one foot off the floor and suck the knee as close to the stomach as possible.
This does two things:
Firstly, it shifts more weight forward — so your arms have a sterner test.
Secondly, it makes your abs works harder and simulates the position you need to be able to hold with both legs if you want to get airborn.