How to do the perfect press-up

Avoid those common mistakes and bulk up the right way

The press-up has long been seen as a decisive litmus test for a man’s overall fitness. As an exercise, it requires all the traits of a true gentleman athlete: strength, resolve, and composure. 

Though the press-up itself is common to most men’s fitness regimes, correct technique has proven much harder to find or accomplish. Here, we’ve bought together the crucial tips for achieving that perfect routine.

Hands down

For a regular push-up, ensure you start with your hands underneath your shoulders, with elbows staying close to your sides with each rep. Placing your hands too far in front of you – or pushing out your elbows – moves the effort from your chest and biceps to your joints, with far greater risk of injury.

Use your feet

Often neglected, positioning your feet is crucial for general technique. Straighten your legs and ensure only the balls of your feet are on the ground.

Align your back

Far too many workouts are hindered by raised hips that throw off the balance of the body. Keep your back in a straight line with your legs, clenching your abs and glutes to maintain poise and tension – and stop your lower back taking the strain.

Chest to the ground

Unfortunately, dipping your chin a few centimetres doesn’t count. Using one, controlled movement, lower your chest to the floor while following all of the instructions above. Start with reps of 10 and as many sets as you can while maintaining your composure – once it starts slipping, you’re done for the day.

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