The boot camp guide to a perfect press-up

The perfect press up guide

Press-ups are one of the best exercises you can have in your locker – they are great for your shoulders, arms, chest, and your core as well. But they can be tough to perfect, so here is the boot camp guide to getting them right.

Press-ups

First stage: Wall press-up

Start by standing next to a wall, fence, railing or your kitchen worktop and do the wide-arm press up movement.

Technique:

Start with your chest all the way to the railing, floor or fence, then move your body as one single unit and lock your arms at the elbow. Breathe out on the push up, and breathe in on the way back down.

Do sets of 8-10 x3, three times a day, or just fit in little sets whenever you can. If you do 10 here, 10 there, you’ll improve in no time.

The aim is to get your body used to this movement with short sets, whenever you get a chance. Over time it will become easier rather like a golfer practising a swing, or a dancer learning a new step. You are teaching your nerve pathways to get used to the movement.

When this feels too easy you are getting stronger and it’s time to move on to stage two!

Second stage: Half press-up

Start on all fours, hands shoulder width apart and use your knees as the pivot point.

Technique:

Start with your chest all the way to the floor then push all the way back up until you lock out at the elbow.

Move your body as one single unit which means no bums in the air and no dipping of the lower back. Remember to breathe out on the push up.

Do sets of 8-10 x3, three times a day or just fit in little sets whenever you can.

When this feels too easy you’re getting stronger and it’s time to move on to stage three!

Third stage: Full press-up

Start with your feet approx 30cm apart hands wide using your toes as the pivot point this time.

Technique:

Start with your chest all the way to the floor, then begin to push all the way up until you lock out at the elbow.

Move your body as one single unit, again no bums in the air and no dipping of the lower back. Remember to breathe out on the push up.

Do sets of 5-20 x3, three times a day or just fit in little sets whenever you can.

When this feels too easy you’re getting stronger and it’s time to move on to stage four!

Fourth stage: Close arm press-up

Technique:

Start as per the full press-up position but now move your hands in, so they are in line with your shoulders, tuck your elbows in at the same time.

Move your body as one single thinking about the position of your bum and lower back and always remember to breathe on the push up.

Do sets of 5-20 x3, three times a day or just fit in little sets whenever you can.

When this feels too easy you’re getting stronger and it’s time to move on to the Diamond stage!

Diamond press-ups

Technique:

Start as per the full press-up position but now move your hands together so your index fingers and thumbs are touching to form a diamond shape, tuck your elbows in at the same time to be really strict.

Move your body as one single unit and remember to breathe out as you push up.

Do sets of 5-20 x3, three times a day or just fit in little sets whenever you can. When this feels too easy you’ve cracked it!

Now just maintain it and keep it up, try and mix up your press-ups and use all of the above variations to suit your workout.

Why not try adding an incline or even a decline to your press-ups?

Next time, we will look at getting better at Tricep dips.

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