Getting your press up right is massively important, not only for you to receive the benefits and effects you’re wanting from your exercise, but also to make sure you don’t injure yourself in the process.
Regardless of what kind of press up you do, and there are many different variations, it’s important to not push yourself too far. You can build up the intensity of your exercise as you get stronger, but always begin with plenty of room and a firm surface to press against.
These are the basics for any kind of press up:
- Get yourself into a face down position on the floor
- Your weight should be on your chest
- Keep the balls of your feet on the ground or the surface you’re working against
Classic press up
This is the one you’ll see the most, and is probably the easiest to master. Keep your arms shoulder width apart and point your elbows towards your toes. Keep the balls of your feet on the floor and make a straight line from your head to your heels, don’t bend your position. Lower your body to the floor, as far as it takes to get your shoulders into a right angle. Keep your elbows close to your body and keep facing forwards. Don’t drop your hips down, otherwise you’re totally going against what you’re trying to do. To raise your body back upwards, push away from the ground. Don’t lock your elbows. Repeat!
To take it a step further, find yourself a bench or chair, although make sure it’s a steady piece of equipment that isn’t going to slip. You need to be face down again obviously, but you need to keep the balls of your feet on the bench instead of the floor. Push up in the same way as in the classic position and repeat. Remember to breathe.
One foot raised
To work one side of your body and target a particular area, adopt the same position as in the classic pose, but lift one foot and rest it on the back of your other leg’s calf. Push away from the ground in the same way, but then swap legs and repeat the process, otherwise you’re going to be a little lop-sided!
Side to side
Again, same position as the classic pose, the one you should always start with, but this time you’re going to change your movement direction. Instead of moving straight up and down, you’re going to adopt almost a swaying from side to side movement. This will work your sides in particular. Don’t make your movements too rapid, otherwise you will risk pulling a muscle and that’s never pleasant.
Arms wide apart
Again, same pose as the classic one, but this time, instead of keeping your arms relatively close together, you want to adopt a pose that has your arms wide apart, but keeping your elbows in again. This will work your shoulders and upper back and target different areas.