With all of us now spending more time at home, this should not signal the end to physical exercise.
There are lots of exercises that can be performed at home with no equipment required or even by making use of items that you will have at home.
Every week I will aim to bring you a different exercise that you can safely perform in your own home and you can monitor your own performance improvements. Not only will this improve your physical wellbeing but also your mental health.
This week I will begin with press-ups.
Press-ups work the chest, triceps and the shoulders but when performed correctly they can also be very beneficial in strengthening the core and the lower back.
By performing press-ups 5 times a week, you will very quickly notice the number that you can perform in any one go increase.
Press-ups can be performed on any surface but will be more comfortable on an exercise mat or carpet.
To perform the press-up:
1) Adopt the high plank position with your feet together and hands shoulder width apart with your palms flat on the floor and your fingers facing forward. Your back should be flat with your core muscles pulled in tight.
2) Lower your body towards the floor maintaining a rigid torso and your head aligned with your spine. It is very important not to allow your lower back to arch or to take your hips upwards.
3) Lower yourself towards the floor until your triceps are parallel to the floor. I would suggest you try and keep your triceps close to your body as opposed to allowing your elbows to flare out.
4) Press firmly upwards until your arms are fully extended and you return to your starting position.
At all times your body should remain in a straight line.
If a full body press-up is too challenging, perform the above but with your knees on the floor, this is called a modified press-up.
I am personally currently performing 100 press-ups a day but not in one go. I split them up over a 5-10 minute period and do sets of 10-20 repetitions.
You can mix up the number that you perform and this is mainly depending on your current press-up fitness level.
If you are a press-up beginner, I recommended spreading them out over the course of the day and having a daily goal of 30 press-ups to begin with – do modified press-ups if more suitable.
Good luck and please ask for my advice if needed.
Keep a log of the number your perform each day and you will be surprised as to how quickly you improve. If you suffer from mild soreness the following day, take a day off but this soreness will very quickly get better as you become stronger.
This is a good video on how to perform press-ups and tips as how to ensure you do them safely: