Get out of an exercise rut by upgrading your press-ups

Get out of an exercise rut by upgrading your press-ups


Strong Women trainer Emma Obayuvana demonstrates three press-up variations to revive your upper body training in this quick 10 minute workout. 

When you’re feeling unmotivated, it’s easy to fall into an exercise routine that’s as exciting as your rotation of tattered loungewear. And while some things become our go-to for a reason (*cough* elasticated waistbands), they can get a little stale.

If arm day is feeling blah, resuscitate your workout with these press-up variations that will also build all-over strength. “Standard press-ups target our chest and shoulders, but we can change the way we do them to put other muscles under tension,” explains Emma Obayuvana, one of our Strong Women Training Club trainers. “Wide press-ups target our arms but put most of the emphasis through your chest. Pike press-up are even more challenging as they put the onus on your shoulders, while diamond press-ups – with your hands placed close together – work the triceps.”

Watch the video as Emma demonstrates these variations for upper body training that is anything but mundane. It looks like press-ups just got a makeover that our joggers could only dream of. 


  1. Start kneeling and place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor (such as right outside either side of your mat). 
  2. Your elbows should be pulled back and away from your body.
  3. Tuck your tailbone under so that your core is activated and you are not arching through your spine.
  4. Inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your straightened torso down towards the floor.
  5. When you’re at the bottom of the move (several inches above the ground), exhale to push your body back up to the starting position.

Do 8 reps


  1. Bring yourself into a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and maintaining a flat back.
  2. Squeeze your belly button in towards your spine and lift your hips towards the sky, so that you are in a downward facing dog position. 
  3. You can bend your knees slightly if it feels more comfortable.
  4. With your chin tucked in, eyes gazing at your feet, inhale as you bend your elbows to send the crown of your head towards the floor.
  5. Exhale to press away back to the starting position. 

Do 8 reps


  1. Start in a high plank position.
  2. Place your hands under the centre of your chest so that your thumbs and forefingers are touching – your hands should be in a diamond shape.
  3. Tuck your tailbone under and inhale to lower your body down towards the ground – keeping your elbows touching the sides of the body.
  4. Exhale to press back to the starting position. 

Do 8 reps

Do 3 rounds total for quality. Rest for 60 seconds rest between rounds.

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