Boot Camp Basics: The Press-Up


It has sorted the contenders from the pretenders for centuries, but most people still do press-ups wrong. Find impeccable form with British Military Fitness

Press-ups are easy, right? Get on your hands and toes, push your bodyweight up, lower it down and repeat. Well, that’s selling the exercise and yourself a bit short. By performing a perfect press-up, which involves a little more than the above, your muscles will get far more from the energy you’re wasting on that sloppy effort.

In the video here, Mark Wood and Garry Kerr from British Military Fitness, Head Training Tutor and Head of Operations and Training respectively, explain exactly how to do a press-up correctly.

Whether you do the exercise at a boot camp, at the gym or for a home workout, Mark and Garry’s instruction will mean you don’t waste your time on bad reps which won’t get you the same power gains. The right form might make it seem harder, but you’ll enjoy stronger joints from using the full range of motion and because you’re not cutting corners, you’ll burn more calories.

If you think you’re not up to hitting the deck and pulling off a picture-perfect press-up, Mark and Garry also demonstrate the very best way to do an easier variation.


The Perfect Press-Up, Step-by-Step:

  1. Lie face-down on the floor with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. With your weight on your toes and hands, press your bodyweight up until your arms are fully extended.
  2. As you do so, keep your elbows tight to your torso and have your body form a straight line from your shoulders through your hips and knees. Keep your core strong throughout, with your glutes squeezed and belly button sucked toward the spine.
  3. When at the top of the movement, ensure your arms form a straight line from the shoulder through to your wrist. From there, lower yourself to the floor until your chest almost touches the floor.

Beginner’s Tip: To make the move easier, perform it as above but with your weight on your knees and hands. Still maintain good form, however, by having your core engaged and keeping a straight line between your knees and shoulders, and from your shoulders to your wrists at the top of the exercise.


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