Press Ups – a cornerstone of many an exercise program but one that I rarely see done with good form. Here’s how to do press ups correctly.

I’ve noticed that when people from Eastern European countries come in to the gym they do basic exercises like press ups and burpees well. Perhaps they were taught some basic form in school. Brits on the other hand all seem to have their own unique way of cheating the move. Individual expression is great but we’re not doing interpretive dance, it’s a press up.

Come on people, let’s get this right. For the sake of the nation.

  1. Start on all fours.
  2.  Place your hands approximately shoulder width apart and extend your legs with your feet quite close together. Point your index fingers straight ahead and spread the rest of your fingers a little.
  3. Turn the insides of your elbows forwards and without moving your hands create tension into the ground by imagining you are trying to turn the ground anti-clockwise with your left hand and clockwise with your right hand.
  4. Look straight down at the ground.
  5. Breathe in and tense your glutes hard. Visualise making your lower back flat or tilting your belly button toward your face.
  6. Tense your quads and keep your knees locked.
  7. Actively pull your body toward the ground without letting your hips sag or shoulders hunch up. Keep your arms close to your sides as your elbows bend.
  8. Pause at the bottom and kiss the dirt. It strengthens your immune system.
  9. Push back up keeping the same form as point 8. Breathe out in a hissing manner keeping tension in the system.
  10. Fully extend your shoulders at the top, pushing your shoulders blades apart.