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The press-up is a classic exercise essential for your workout and can be done anywhere. Q&C's Glenn Mainwaring gives us the lowdown on his top five variations that will help transform your upper body and make you summer-ready.


My motto has always been - keep fit to feel good, if you feel good, you look good too! So show off those muscles and ASSets (pun intended) in what you wear. We all do a double take when we walk past a guy who’s confident in what he’s wearing. I know I do and it's always the motivation for me to look and feel the same way.  So be that guy!

Some guys are into legs and butts but I'm more of an upper body man and I envy anyone with a perfectly sculpted chest. So that's the focus for my first Q&C fitness class. It couldn’t be easier to start your training on that eye-catching body part!

The press-up is probably the most popular body-weight move in the world, ideal for beginners or those returning to fitness too. It can be performed anywhere and doesn’t require much space or any kit. But above all it can be an easy and effective way of working your chest, core, triceps and shoulders if done correctly.

Mastering the press-up will improve stability and movement in your shoulders and core, helping boost your fitness training overall. What’s more, this classic move has a huge number of variations that will work the muscles of your upper body in new and challenging ways to promote lean muscle growth and sculpt the abs. Be sure to get it into your routine.

Military press up

Starting position - Place your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart with your body in a straight line from head to heels. As you lower keep your elbows tucked in and pointing back, not to the sides.

Maintain strict form throughout. As with all press-up criteria, keep your core tight. If you're finding it difficult, rest your knees on the floor to help remove some of your body-weight. This move is a soldier's staple and so a great way to start building upper-body strength.

Wide-arm press-up

Place your hands a few inches slightly wider than shoulder width which will place greater emphasis on the chest due to leverage disadvantages. Pause at the bottom of the movement when your chest is about an inch from the floor before pushing explosively to the start position.

Incline press-up

Stand facing a sturdy elevated platform. Place hands on the platform slightly wider than shoulder width and feet firmly on the ground. Engage the core and press down, pause and come back up to the start. The higher your hands are the easier the move is. Inclines are great for beginners and are a great way to target the lower chest. Don't forget to breathe.

Decline press-up

Place feet on a raised platform, hands on the ground shoulder width apart. Engage the core and slowly come down, pause at the bottom of the movement before coming back up.

The higher you place your feet the harder this move will be.

Diamond press-up

If you've mastered the press-ups above, be sure to challenge your upper body with this final variation. Create a diamond shape on the floor with your hands by touching the tips of opposite thumbs and index fingers together, which turns this more difficult press-up into a great triceps-sculpting move. Don't forget to keep your core tight and maintain strict form throughout.

All these press-ups are great for beginners and can be made harder by increasing sets and pushing for that extra rep. They're perfect for both indoors and outside - even in the snow.

Minute madness

Push yourself to do as many press-ups as you can in a minute and make a note of that number every time. Watch as that number, and your upper body, grows! Good luck.

You can follow Glenn on Instagram: @gmainwaring

Share Glenn's workouts using our Q&C handle: #majorfit