|What it’s good for||Strengthens arm, shoulder and chest muscles. Particularly good for working the under-arm (tricep) muscles. The “push-off and catch” version can also help keep wrist bones strong. Everyday benefits include:
|How often to do it||Daily|
|Equipment you’ll need||A wall|
- Stand facing a wall with feet hip-width apart, about one foot-length away
- Place your palms on the wall at shoulder-height, just wider than shoulders, fingers pointing upwards
- Tighten your lower abs muscle gently, and, keeping your feet still, lower your body in towards the wall
- Aim to lower until your nose almost touches the wall
- Hold briefly, then push slowly away again to your start position
- Rest briefly, then repeat
Aim to do as many slow, steady wall presses as you can until your arms feel they cannot do any more, up to 20.
♦ It can feel easier to push away from the wall if you breathe out at the same time
♦ Take care not to let your back bend at all as you lower to the wall – keeping your lower abs gently pulled in will help
♦ Try also to keep your legs straight, no bending at the knees
♦ And beware of straining your neck forwards in an effort to get your nose closer to the wall!
Varying the exercise for more challenge
Once you can do 20 good, slow press-ups, you need to make the exercise a bit harder to continue strengthening your muscles. Try these progressions in order of difficulty.
1. Add an extra set of 20 press-ups
Make sure you rest for at least three minutes before doing your second set
2. Stand a bit farther away from the wall
This will make the press-up feel quite a lot harder, so you may have to do fewer until you build up your strength, again aiming for 2 sets of 20. Be even more careful not to let your back sag or your chin poke forwards
3. Wall press with push-off and catch
In this version, instead of pushing back from the wall slowly, you push away hard, letting your hands come off the wall momentarily. Then drop back on to the wall, making your arms work to stop you from falling into the wall. Start this version standing one-foot length away from the wall for practice, but as you get more confident, start farther away from the wall for greater impact.
4. Try press-ups on the ground
As long as you can safely get down and up from the floor, you should be well able to move on to the press-up on knees.