How To Master The Press Up

3 min read


Press ups are great because you can perform them wherever you are whether that’s at home, in a hotel room or in a gym with no equipment needed. Below I have laid out 5 simple steps to achieve your perfect 10 press ups.

Challenge. Starting with step 1, work your way through and master each step until you can perform 10 strict press ups at the end. This could take months or it could take weeks but consistency and hard work will pay off. Keep at it!



Step 1. Straight Arm Plank

Firstly you need to be able to hold our own body weight, whilst maintaining good posture. So place your feet hip width apart, with the weight on the balls of your feet, hands under shoulders whilst spreading your fingers and gripping the floor, externally (turning out) screw your hands into the floor, brace your glutes, tighten your abs and hold whilst maintaining a straight or slightly rounded back without dropping your hips/lower back.

Aim. Hold for 1 minute straight, if you can’t achieve 1 minute yet then add these holds throughout your workout and accumulate a time of 1 minute with sets of time that you can achieve i.e. 6×10 sec, 4×15 sec, 2×30 sec, until you can hit a minute straight.


Step 2. Incline Press Up

As you can see I am using a squat rack, however if you don’t have access to one then you can use your steps, window sill or kitchen work top at home to perform this. Set yourself up exactly the same as you did for the straight arm plank, keeping everything tight with hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and keep elbows in but about 45 degrees away from the body. Lower your whole body as one, and touch your chest to the surface before pressing your body back up and fully extending your elbows.

Aim. Complete 10 repitions with good form. If it is too hard then use a higher incline to take weight off of your arms, alternatively if it is too easy you can use a lower incline to increase the weight on your arms.


Step 3. Eccentric Kneeling Press Up 

Starting in the top position as you did in the straight arm plank, and lower your body to the floor as you did with the incline press up. Try to maintain a straight body and aim for your hips, chest and nose to reach the floor together. Once at the bottom, cross your legs and press up to the top again making sure you get full extension through the elbows.

Aim. Lower yourself down for 5 seconds – If you can’t achieve this yet, then start by lowering yourself down by one to two second and build yourself up to 5 seconds overtime or use a low step as a slight incline until you can perform on the floor.


Step 4. Semi Press Up

Keeping everything the same as the the previous exercises, but this time you are going to use cushions or pads like I have here to stop you from going all the way down to shorten the movement.

Aim. Complete 10 repetitions with good form, however if you need you can start with more cushions or pads to shorten the movement or alternatively you can do this on your knees and eventually work your way down to a lower level.


Step 5. Full Press Up  

Once you have worked you way down to a level that is close to the ground, it’s now time to start working on your full press up. Keep everything the same as before except you are now lowering your whole body to the floor trying to touch your hips, chest and nose to the floor at the same time and then pressing up to fully extend your elbows.

Aim. Complete 10 repitions with good form – If you can’t make 10 reps yet, then decrease the volume to the number of reps you can currently achieve i.e. 10×1 reps, 5×2 reps, 2×5 reps, 3×8 reps etc. with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets and work closer to that set of 10 reps.


Good Luck!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions. Oh and if you enjoyed this and it helped, then don’t forget to give it a like or share.


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