Complementary Fitness Logo

Complementary Fitness 25 July Newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

I’m sure you all know by now but just a wee reminder that all class prices are now £6 each payable by:


  • cash (I’ve always got change),
  • directly into my bank account (I can give you my sort code & a/c number)
  • or use the SumUp card machine (I pay a fee per transaction but it’s not too bad).


You might like to pay for 2, 3 or 4 classes in advance to save time but it’s an option.

If you do, just take a note of the dates that you’re attending to keep us right.


Did you know? There’s more to the Push Up than meets the eye (or meets the core/arms).  Here’s more…..


In life, as well as in strength training, the ‘push’ is a fundamental movement, with the push-up being one of the best pushing exercises ever.  No equipment is required, just our body and maybe a mat.  Push-ups are easily scalable and have infinite options to spice them up.

The push-up uses multiple joints, inc wrist, elbow, scapulae (ie shoulder blades) and shoulder, as well as requiring active tension throughout the whole body.  So, they are extremely functional.


The Push Up Pilates-style:

Even Joseph Pilates included the push-up as the final exercise of his matwork series.

To start, begin in a standing position, then ‘roll down’ ie with the head and spine rolling down until the hands reach the floor.  The hands then walk out to a plank position, ready to do a one or more push-ups.  The entire exercise then reverses back through to standing.


In Pilates’ version, the push-up is just one component of a series that starts and finishes in standing.  Being the conclusion of the series, it brings the focus up off the mat, onto the feet and into an upright posture.  It challenges co-ordination, endurance and the ability to weight bear and move through the wrists, fingers and hands.  It’s multiple components also have an element of ‘flowing’ movement which is a quality associated with Pilates exercises.


Any variation of the Pilates push-up can be a great addition to our multi-level classes.  As long as we can roll down and get into quadruped/all 4 on hands & knees position, we can do the Pilates push-up.


What’s involved: In any version of a push-up, the bodyline, wrists, hands and scapulae (among other things eg active tension) are important to consider.

Strength movements of all kinds require an active tension in the bodyline.  Sometimes called core stability, core strength or centring – whatever the name, it’s a position of muscular tension around the whole torso inc the front, sides and back body.  Active tension retains a tight relationship between the thoracic ribcage, hips and pelvis, without a breaking the neutral line of the spine.

We can start to build strength & mobility in our hands, wrists, arms, shoulders by beginning in an all 4 (knees under hips, wrists under shoulders) position then walk hands out wide, ie wider than shoulder distance/to the outside edges of a mat and turn the hands in so that the fingers turn towards the outside edges of our mat.  Then bend the elbows and bring forehead down towards the floor and lengthen the arms again – repeat a few times.


Over time, we can try a modified plank where our starting position would be on our knees (with hips forwards of knees, not hips over knees), with arms straight and hands under shoulders, bend the elbows, again bringing forehead down towards the floor then pushing back up to the starting position, do as many as you can or feel comfortable with.

You might want to shake off any tension in your wrists, arms and shoulders in between these push ups.

Of course, if you feel that you can / or want to try: a full press up from a plank position, on toes, legs lengthened, body in alignment, hands under shoulders (there are other variations of hands ie with one forward of the other, ‘narrow hands’ ie closer together or wider apart, hands diagonally turned in or out but that might be ‘for another day’).

Anyway, as you’ll know, even after all this time, I’ve never perfected the full plank press up but I know that many of you can so I salute you.

Sometimes, I’ll start my press up in a full plank down to the floor, in one long line but then when on the floor and ready to ‘push up’, I’ll bend my knees and push up from there – phew, it’s easier but nevertheless, challenging.

Keep going, whatever level, variation or starting position we’re at.  Let’s practice together in class.  You up for the challenge?


I read these 5 tips for fat loss in an Insta post and thought I’d share them with you:

  1. lift weights 3-4 times a week (or even once or twice)
  2. minimum 10,000 steps a day
  3. eat protein at every meal (you’ll feel fuller and not want to snack in between meals)
  4. stress less and sleep more
  5. give it time and be consistent


Edinburgh Food Festival is on now until 31 July in George Square Gardens.

Details at Edinburgh Food Festival (  Enjoy

It was great seeing you last week even though there’s only been 3 or 4 people in the last couple of Tuesday evening classes.  I know it’s probably coz it’s the school holidays, the weather’s been hot and maybe instead of coming to classes, you’ve been in the garden (understandable, maybe a lovely bbq?) but I hope that numbers will increase soon.  It’d be great to see you and work out with you.

Just to let you know that we’ve been taking things a little easier, more stretches, less intense on a Tuesday & Thursday in our summer workouts so again, come back and join us to work out together.

I’m grateful for the lovely comments that we got about our classes, different sequences, stretches etc.

I look forward to seeing you & working out with you this week too.

Thanks for the great feedback from last week’s classes too.


Connecting with Susan:  or

click here for Complementary Fitness Youtube channel

Email me: