Give it a Go - Decline Press Ups

This Press Up is a fantastic exercise for building up your upper body strength, provide a great core workout and challenge your Cardiovascular System. Press ups don't require any equipment, you don't need much room and they can be performed anywhere and varied in so many ways. This blog will look at doing the press up with both legs elevated on a bench/step/chair etc. Please see my previous blog on 'Give it a Go - Basic Press Up' before attempting this version of the press up.

Doing a decline press up with both legs raised on a bench/step/chair is a great way to challenge your core muscles and to give you a brilliant upper body and abdominal workout. Placing your feet on an elevated object whilst doing the press up ensures that your head, shoulders and arms are lower than your hips in the bottom phase of the move. This will challenge you more when pressing back up. Are you up for the challenge?

Poor press-up technique is common, and can result in shoulder and/or lower back injuries. The following are a few tips on how to perform the press up safely and correctly.

  • Place your hands underneath your shoulders (approximately shoulder width apart) with your arms extended (elbows slightly bent) and your fingers facing forward. Place both of your feet on an elevated object (bench/step/chair etc). Your hands and feet should be set up in a way that feels comfortable to you.
  • Bend your arms at your elbows by steadily lowering yourself until your elbows reach 90 degrees and your chest is 1-2 inches off the floor. Pause slightly and then powerfully push back to the start position. That's 1 repetition.
  • Ensure your core is engaged (e.g. tighten your abs) and there is a straight line from your head to your ankles. Don't let your hips/torso fall forward or rise in the air.
  • Using a smooth motion, breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
  • Avoid bouncing off the floor, locking your elbows out forcefully in the top position, letting your elbows fly out from your body and your back arching whilst your legs are elevated.

As a starter, aim to complete 8-10 repetitions and see if you can do this 2-3 times. If you can't don't worry. Build up to it. You are best doing 4 correct press ups with safe and proper technique rather than 10 incorrect ones. Please see my bank of 'Give it a Go - Press Up Exercises'.

Please remember to warm up thoroughly before exercising and to speak to your GP before starting any exercise programme. Should you require any help, advice or information please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to discuss with you the tried and tested methods and lifestyle changes that I have developed to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.

Keep up the great work,

Live life actively,


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