In the blog i would like to talk about the press-up and all the different types there are.
One of the oldest forms of exercise in the world is the press-up which is also know as the push up. It has been around for thousands of years and was part of soldiers’ military training. There are some records that show the Roman emperor Constantine performed press-ups for his health. While still in use by the military, the press-up has become one of the most basic and recognizable exercise of any fitness program.
A press-up is a great exercise to perform and is very good for you. This is because you are using quite a few muscles in your body which not only helps strengthen them but can contribute to burning calories also. A press-up is also great for strengthening your core which will help your posture dramatically. All this will help prevent any injuries in the future.
What is the correct press-up technique?
To get the most out of a press-up and to prevent any injuries, you will need to adopt the correct technique. To do so you will need to follow these steps.
- Kneel with hands on the floor at chest width directly under shoulders.
- Extend both legs straight to form rigid plank position.
- Feet can be either close together or wider apart. The wider they are the less the core is engaged, so stability will be easier.
- Make sure your head, shoulders and butt are in a straight line.
- Tuck tail bone under and engage core, thighs and butt.
- Bend arms and bring shoulders together to lower torso towards floor maintaining plank.
- The further you come down the better as you are getting a better range of movement in the muscles used.
- you should come down so your chest is about knuckle height above the floor.
- Push back up to straighten arms to starting position.
- Make sure you keep your engaged core and keep the correct posture throughout.
Many muscles are being used when performing a press-up, however the main muscles engaged are your chest and triceps along with your core area, (this includes your lower back.)
Now you have a basic understanding on what a press-up is we can start to think about alternatives. By all means if you are a beginner then this is not an easy exercise so there are a couple of ways to make it easier.
The first option is to perform the standard press-up on your knees. This is exactly the same apart from you are now on your knees, with your feet up and legs crossed.
The second option or variation on the standard press-up for a novice is to do this up against a wall. So, it is exactly the same apart from your hands are leant up against a wall. This takes a bit of bodyweight out of the movement. The closer you are to the wall the easier it will be. When you are comfortably doing that, you can then edge your feet further away from the wall, this will slowly add more bodyweight to the movement thus making it more difficult.
Now, you would think that’s all you need to know right? Wrong! Once you have mastered the basic press-up then there are other things we can do to make it more challenging and to target more muscle groups than others.
First off, we can start to engage our core more. We can do this jut by lifting one leg off the ground while preforming the basic press-up.
If we want to target the chest muscle more then we would give ourselves a wider stance with our hands.
If we want to target the triceps more then the hand stance would come closer together. A good press-up for targeting them triceps is a diamond press-up.
So, we now know what to do if we want to target more of the chest or triceps muscle. There is also a variation to target the upper chest, lower chest and shoulders more.
To target the upper chest we will need to perform the press-up with our hands on the floor and our feet elevated on to a block or bench.
If we want to target the lower part of the chest then we would do it the opposite way round and target have our feet on the ground and have our torso elevated by having our hands on a block or bench.
To target the shoulders more then we will need to perform a press-up called the a-frame press-up.