Tri­cep press-up

Drop and give us 20. No? If you’re put off by quiv­er­ing up­per arms and trau­matic mem­o­ries of PE, read on and p-push it real good

Women's Health (UK) - - IN THE KNOW -

Knees or no knees? If there’s one move that prompts a sur­rep­ti­tious glance round the stu­dio to clock what ev­ery­one else is do­ing, it’s the press-up. Be­ing or­dered to drop and do 20 arouses a par­tic­u­lar shade of fear usu­ally re­served for when your mother ad­dresses you by your full name. In­stead, shift your at­ten­tion to the pos­i­tives, of which there are many. It’s not all about arm strength – the gains are many. ‘When done prop­erly, a tri­cep press-up will work your chest, core, glutes and quads, too,’ says David Wiener, per­sonal trainer and train­ing spe­cial­ist for fit­ness app Freelet­ics. As for that knees busi­ness? If you’re a begin­ner, Wiener sug­gests start­ing with them on the floor be­fore you progress to the full ver­sion. ‘This’ll help you prac­tise the tech­nique and mo­tion of mov­ing up and down while strength­en­ing your wrists and tri­ceps,’ he ex­plains, adding that a wall press-up or even just hold­ing a high plank for 30 sec­onds a pop can also help you work up to the real deal. And that’s where you want to be, be­cause not only will you be us­ing your full body weight, you’ll be ton­ing mul­ti­ple mus­cles, too. Build­ing up to it grad­u­ally is key. Wiener rec­om­mends do­ing five sets of five reps on your knees for at least five days a week – at vary­ing speeds to keep your mus­cles guess­ing – for a fort­night be­fore go­ing for lift off. As ever, good form is cru­cial. ‘For max­i­mum growth for your ef­forts, en­gage your core and keep your back straight while low­er­ing your­self down slowly and smoothly, then driv­ing back up with force,’ Wiener rec­om­mends. Oh, and no cheat­ing – get that chest all the way to the floor. That way you’ll see the dif­fer­ence fast, even if you’re, ahem, pressed for time. (Sorry).

AVOID IF...

You have a his­tory of shoul­der pain, ro­ta­tor cuff in­juries or ex­ces­sive lum­bar cur­va­ture.

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