How To: Build your upper body strength in to a full press up!
This is something I have been working on for the best part of this year. It’s going in the right direction, slowly. But then good things often take longer to achieve and upper body strength is commonly everyones pet peeve in classes. Oh the sighs in Pilates class every.single.time we announce there is press ups! Here I want to give you some simple steps to building up to the full press up.
Do only what you can. Aim to repeat each step 6-8 times before moving on to the next stage.
1) Arm raises: On your hands and knees, align your hands under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Draw the shoulder blades down away from your ears. Maintaining this set up, raise one arm out in front of you to shoulder height. Don’t shift the weight to the other side. Repeat with the opposite arm.
2) Hovers: Set up as per No1, but with your toes curled underneath. Press through your toes and hands, and engage your core to raise your knees a few inches off the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat.
3) Knee press ups: Drop on to your knees, and wriggle your knees a bit further out behind you. Keeping the back straight, bend through the elbows to lower your chest and hips towards the floor. Don’t let your stomach drop down/back arch. Only lower as far as you can keep your back straight throughout. Repeat.
4) Hover in to extension (leg pull in prone): Begin as per No.2. Once you are up in that hover position shown in No.2. picture, press through the toes and bring your body through between your hands in to a high plank/hover position. Hold 2-3 seconds, then return to the hover (No.2) then lower to the mat. Repeat.
TOP PICTURE (Press up): Place your hands under your shoulders and draw your shoulder blades down. Extend both legs out behind you. Lift up through the core and pelvis so that your back is straight. Use your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor. As soon as you feel your stomach dropping down/back arching then it’s time to stop!
Good luck with them! Let me know if this helps! xo