Master the press-up and to build a bigger, stronger and wider chest
The humble-press-up is often overlooked in most training programmes, because a) it’s considered too easy and b) it’s not particular exciting. But if you’re following New Body Plan you’ll know we love the press-up because there’s not many moves that you can do anywhere, and anytime, to build size and strength across your chest, arms and shoulders, as well as pushing your abs to the the limit.
But, of course, as with any exercise it’s only effective if you’re doing it right, so follow our advice below to master the move and build a bigger and stronger upper body.
How to do it:
• Start on all fours with your toes and palms touching the floor.
• Make sure your shoulder, elbow and wrist joints are aligned and your bodyweight is on your arms.
• Brace your core and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
• Keeping your weight on your arms, bend your elbows to lower your chest down towards the floor.
• Keep your elbows tight to your sides – don’t let them flare outwards.
• Lower down so your chest is as close to the floor as possible without touching it.
• Press back up powerfully to return to the start.
Slow it down
Get the size and strength gains you want by not rushing your reps and taking your time to lower and lift your torso up and down. Try a 4010 tempo – a four-second lowering phase, a zero-second pause at the bottom, a one-second pressing phase, then a zero-second pause at the top – to get your muscles better at controlling each movement. Or try a 3110 tempo that introduces a one-second pause at the bottom of each rep. All of a sudden you’ll make this “easy” and “boring” bodyweight exercise a legitimate muscle-building move.
Get to grips with the bench press with these three tips for better lifting to build a bigger chest even faster.