Today, we are bowing down – literally – in awe of the mighty press up. Exercises come and go with time: trends change, and knowledge moves on as exercise techniques become more sophisticated.
But little beats the original press-up for strengthening your core, arms and shoulders, without using any additional machinery.
There are ways to take the edge off, so if you’re a beginner, we can make it easy to start with. Likewise, there are ways to make it tougher, so if it ever starts to feel easy, you can take it to the next level.
If you’re really struggling to do the beginner routine we’ve recommended below, then you can bend your knees, so your lower half weight is on your knees, and do the press-ups from there until you have enough arm strength to progress to the full exercise.
If you’re finding it easy, then you can experiment with other modifications – try clapping your hands between each press-up for a more action-packed, tiring exercise. Or for additional core strength benefits, try putting your hands closer together, right under your face. It’s harder to balance and this helps those abs, and different arm muscles.
For now, though, we’re going to keep it clean and classic: the original press-up, brought to you by boot camp #adventabs. Get on the floor, face down, with only your hands and toes touching the floor. Keep your arms straight with your hands under your shoulders, and lower yourself to the floor, stopping just before your nose touches. Straighten your arms again. That’s one!
Keep a close eye on your technique, don’t rush, and keep your back straight. If you reach the point where you can pull off 20 press ups with minimal effort, you know you’re in decent shape. It’s something to aim for!
Beginner: 3×5 press-ups (on knees if necessary)
Intermediate: 3×10 press-ups
Advanced: 3×15 press-ups
Pro: 3×20 press-ups
Advanced pro: change hand position, or try clapping in between each one.