The Lizard Push-up
A Tiny Practice for Energy and Presence
with Wendy Palmer

This simple 1-second practice from Wendy Palmer offers a go-to energizer that expands your personal presence — a surefire way to tap into your best self and be more empowered in the world.

Watch to try it yourself — and find out why it’s called “the lizard push-up”!


Practice leads to sustained change

The mind loves the idea of change while the body — especially the limbic system — resists it. This is why when we try to change too much at one time, such as a crash diet or radical exercise program, we often can’t sustain it. Wendy Palmer, a leadership expert who works with mind-body patterns, recommends small, incremental change that gradually shifts our baseline “normal” and leads to successful integration of new habits. Through consistent repetition, we can train ourselves to be more naturally open, confident, and available to connect — powerful leadership skills.

What do you think about doing this regularly?

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  • Pier-Anna says:

    I’m right where I should be, learning the lizard push-up! Sitting and working from home (blessedly)…but find myself closing on all levels. This tiny practice will help tremendously.

  • Beverly says:

    Thank you so much. I look forward to practicing this.

  • Liz says:


  • Sheila Carter says:

    Very interesting. I think this is a great practice for those who deal with our customers who don’t always come in the stores with cheerful attitudes and demanding spirits. A lizard pushup may refocus our minds and reactions as we serve our customers and especially one another.

  • Dianne Saywell says:

    I love this little “trick”! It is cute, approachable and easy for all to access. As a yoga instructor and dental hygienist I am sure going to spread that love around! Thank you!

  • Lisa says:

    What a wonderful way to offset rounding the shoulders from computer and cell phone usage. And the name – lizard push-ups – automatically brings a smile. With much appreciation.

  • Brenda says:

    So easy to do and it does feel great! I’ll be trying this.

  • Jane says:

    A simple adjustment! Makes sense! Thank you!

  • Allison Rosemond says:

    Would love to share this with my students. As a school counselor, this simple practice can help students quickly find clarity and destress in tense moments throughout the day.

  • debra merle says:

    i love this idea! will begin practicing right away – just 1 second at a time! thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Eileen says:

    I love it ~~ will really try to get to 10000 lizard pushups !

  • Mary says:

    Thank you, Wendy. This is a doable, simple, positive practice.
    Love it.

  • Stephanie DeBroux says:

    Thanks to Wendy Palmer and Eileen (of course) for a
    quick, simple and easy benefit to embrace in my daily life.
    I will be a lizard in all my business meetings from now on

  • Anne Jennings See says:

    Great idea. I’m going to try it.

  • Chris Nagel says:

    I LOVE this idea! Sometimes I find myself so tense that that I actually have make myself “straighten” out my hands or take a deep breath or make myself “put my shoulders down”. Doing this lizard move seems like exactly what I need. Now I just have to remember to do it!!!

  • wende says:

    simple, yet so logical..I too find myself crossing my arms and legs and shielding myself. Love this mindful reminder.

  • Valli says:

    Love it – love it – love it !!!
    This will be with me for the rest of my life!
    Just shared it with our younger son
    who perked up right away…
    What a beautiful, awakening, transformational gift!

    Thank you so much Wendy!!

  • Denise Hogan says:

    Love the idea. I’m at the computer much of the day and this is a great exercise to open up and become more conscious.

  • Teddie Richards says:

    What a lovely idea! And I so appreciate that our ‘instructor’ is a beautiful lady in my age group! 🙂
    Please keep these tidbits coming….and Thank you.

  • Liz Fautsch says:

    This was great! Wendy is so insightful about the habits that we form without realizing it! I have developed a program called CALM Kids, with the Sean O’Shea Foundation in San Diego that we teach to teachers so they can practice dynamic mindfulness with their students. We a similar lift, pressing hands into our chairs as prepare for the practice – Chair-based Activities for Learning Mindfulness. We hope that by starting young, kids will be more aware of these patterns as they grow up! Thanks!

  • Naomee Guest says:

    So sweet, simple and easy…. A definite positive… why not !!

  • Gay Gooen says:

    Yes! Great idea! I’m on it. Thanks for this great tidbit!

    Gay Gooen

  • Jeannette Kearney says:

    I loved this. Please keep sending little, short tidbits like this. Anything we can do to elicit change in our lives is such a great thing. Please consider more sending more more more fo these.
    Many thanks

  • Susan Crown says:

    Fantastic. What a simple jump start to change.

  • Nini says:

    Sounds quite freeing—and fun too. Thank you!

  • Ann Lynch says:

    Will absolutely ADD the Lizard Push Up to my daily life experiences. I believe this will be helpful to me and to others around me. THANK YOU!!!

  • Kerlin Conyngham says:

    I loved this, thank you.

  • Laurel Burnham says:

    Oh. So simple. Love it. Actually found my self sitting exactly how she describes, all crossed over. A second. Great shift.

  • Lynn Fraleu says:

    I had to watch the video twice to get it 🙂 It was lovely to watch. I like the reminder that making small incremental changes make it more likely that they will stick..

  • Jo Beverly says:

    I love the idea of changing my being one second at a time. It is such a minimal commitment. And… it gives the doer a real lift of the spirit and of the body. I will continue to be that doer.

  • Deby says:

    What a wonderful way to respond to others, automatically opening ourselves to a new relationship or maybe fixing an old one.

  • Lorrie Cr says:

    i’m going to try it. Love it.

  • Kathleen says:

    Tried this and Love it! The motion also helped me breathe easier. Thank you!

  • Eileen Pokornik says:

    I will do this…….what a good feeling I get from it.
    We live in Florida and I love to watch the geckos do their stretch….thank you❤️

  • cathy says:

    ABSOLUTELY Thank you….. just when I needed to hear/see this

  • Marian Powell says:

    This is perfect, something anyone can do anywhere. I am going to add it to my day. And will add it to my meetings with executives. Thank you!

  • Vicki says:

    I’m going to try this……just what I needed today! Thank you.

  • Maria says:

    Love this! I am guilty of crossing my arms and legs hence I get exhausted holding those positions. I have observed lizards and their pushups. This makes me want to learn more about the limbic system and learn more from Ms. Palmer. Thank you.

  • Missy says:

    What a terrific way to be aware of straightening up and doing what a physical therapist said can strengthen my upper back. As I sit writing this I am aware that I am also taking a deeper breath. Thinking of all these benefits, perhaps reaching those number of repetitions will be advantageous in many ways. Thank you.

    If lizards are set to music on the videos, I can too!

  • Celeste Moran says:

    I’m going to do it. Thank you.

  • Ellen says:

    i think this is great, especially with the very different world today compared to the world we grew up in and the world we raised our children. Count me in our trying these push ups! Thank you!

  • Joan G Rogers says:

    I’m on board. it seems a “no-brainer!!! (no joke intended but one did arrive!) instruction to brain would be to listen up to body happenings and take direction from its feedback. The prep work observed in birds just before emitting song. or humans observed as “straightening up” as they take up their bows to make music…

  • Athena says:

    What a wondrously simple thing to do. Giving it a catchy name and visual makes it memorable. Thanks!

  • Sue Morris says:

    I love this idea of the lizard pushup. Somehow it enpowers me. I sit and write most days, and i am definitely going to incorporate this
    Thanks so much!

  • Tracy Benson says:

    Absolutely fabulous! I’ve been aware that I have been walking around life a little hunched over lately and my “posture” reminders to myself weren’t helping much. I think this is far more effective. Thank you, Wendy1

  • Jan Jones says:

    Love it!

  • sylvia durrant says:

    Brilliant idea and noticed the effect immediately. As last two comments below I am the same. Legs crossed, hunched up. Will keep it up.

  • Fabiola says:

    Thank you for sharing.It is amazing!

  • Karen says:

    I love this simple, brilliant idea!! I’m starting now.

  • Kathryn says:

    Interesting, I spend so much of my time with my arms and legs crossed . If I was questioned about it, I would probably respond, that that is most comfortable for me. Now It has me wondering why I am most comfortable all closed up, I am going to try those lizard push ups and see!

  • Maria Mooney says:

    I loved this and I love the whole idea of life work and becoming more in touch with our habits and with the idea that small changes over time are more effective than attempting a radical shift which cannot be sustained.

  • Pamela Nesbit says:

    Yes! It only takes a moment. Thank you

  • Anne M McCormick says:

    I was able to see and hear Wendy. I will try to do this practice on a regular basis. Thank you.

  • Catherine MacNeal says:

    I will try it. I spend too much time bending over a computer with my legs crossed. The lizard push-up invites a deep breath and a release of stress.

  • Millie Gamble says:

    Excellent idea to work with

  • Gloria says:

    I LOVE this and will try to incorporate it in my life….starting now. Can you see me pushing up?
    Thank you, thank you. Wendy Palmer herself is all the ‘ad’ you need to begin.

  • Barbara Bailey says:

    Love the lizard pushup – could not be easier to do and instantly effective!

  • Martha Bushey says:

    Love it!
    Thank you, Wendy!

  • maryann Campbell says:

    worth doing

  • Betty says:

    I love this small but powerful practice and started doing it right away. It’s doable and feels very good! Thank you so much. What a good way to start my day.

  • vera moore says:

    I know this is a great idea. I try to do this regularly sit properly. It opens up my lower back.
    Thank you for taking the time.