One of the best bodyweight exercises you can do for your upper body is press-ups. It’s a full compound exercise, meaning that it is working multiple joints and muscles at once; Shoulders, Arms, Chest, Back and Core.
For some people, press-ups are a hard, daunting and challenging exercise and even the prospect of doing them is too much.
However, there is a great series of steps you can do to make them easier and better for you to do.
They can be quickly regressed and progressed.
The first step to doing them is to start with step one.
Start on your knees.
When you do them on your knees, make sure that your hips are in line with your shoulders. So basically make sure your hips are not sticking up in the air.
This is where you lower yourself down in a full press-up, as soon as you’re at the bottom of the press-up you put your knees down and push yourself back up on your knees. That is one rep, repeat this process for the whole of your set.
This is where your hands are on a platform raised off the ground, i.e. a bench. Slowly lower the platform to the ground. This makes a for a nice transition to normal press-ups. Make sure those elbows are not flaring out.
Once you have completed steps 1 and 2, you can go onto full press-ups. Make sure your elbows are not flaring out at 90 degrees, keep them tucked in no chicken wings.
Keep those elbows directly in line with your shoulders and hands under your shoulders.
Hands in a diamond formation (Made up using your fingers and thumbs). Make sure those elbows are tucked in.
You can progress this with claps; you cannot change the stance of the hands for this one. But you can add in more claps, starting with one then going onto two etc.
Rearfoot elevated Press-ups.
Your feet are raised on a platform behind you. Start with normal press-ups first for this one and then slowly progress into narrow and diamond.
TRX rear foot elevated Press-ups
This makes for a great progression from level 7. This is due to the instability the TRX causes for the feet and core, the same progress as level 7 can be used. Start with normal then progress onto narrow and diamond.
Full explosive Press-ups.
This where your feet and hands come off the floor at the same time. You cannot change the hand position for this one, but you can aim to land on a higher surface.