In this article we’re going to take a look at the humble press up, the staple of many keep fit enthusiasts and weight trainers when there’s no gym or equipment handy. In your bedroom, your garage, your hotel room or your prison cell, there’s always room to to some press ups.
What muscles does it exercise? Well quite a few on your upper body: your pectorals (chest) and triceps are the main beneficiaries but it also focuses to a lesser extent on the shoulders, biceps, deltoids and abdominals. It’s a great all round toner and a quick blast need only take a few minutes. In each press up you will be lifting around 65% of your body weight.
So let’s go through a few explanations of the different types of press up available; there are around eight or so of varying complexity but we’ll stick with a few of the simpler ones in this article.
- Full Press Up – the simplest and most well know variety, stretch out as shown
in the picture with your hands should width apart and the weight of your legs on your toes. Your body should be kept straight at all times. Lower yourself to the floor, but not so far that your chest touches it, then raise yourself again. For those with less upper body strength, it’s OK to rest your weight on your knees rather than your toes. Try ten to start with, rest then repeat.
- Tricep Press Up - for more of a tricep workout, assume the starting position
then shuffle your hands inwards until they are about 6 – 8 inches apart. Now lower and raise yourself as before. This is little more difficult than the Full Press Up. Try ten to start with, rest then repeat.
- Ball Press Up – you’ll need a soccer ball or something of similar size for this one. Place the ball below your chest then put both hands on the ball to support your weight, while keeping the rest of your body straight as before. This version will give you the extra benefits of improved balance and core stability as you become more familiar with it. Try ten to start with, rest then repeat.