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Press-Up Workouts To Build Size, Strength And Stability

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In This Series

  1. How To Master The Press-Up
  2. The Best Press-Up Variations
  3. Press-Up Workouts

Press-Up Workouts

10-minute pump-up

What This high-intensity ten-minute three-move circuit will flood your upper-body muscles with blood to create a huge pump and thoroughly fatigue your muscle fibres while keeping your heart rate high for both a muscle gain and a fat loss effect.

How Do as many diamond press-ups as you can, then rest for 20 seconds. Then do as many normal press-ups as possible, then rest for 20 seconds. Finally do as many wide press-ups as possible then rest 60 seconds. Repeat this circuit four times.

30-minute challenge

What This half-hour EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout will increase your upper body’s muscular endurance by taxing the muscles hard, resting, then going again through the process of accumulated fatigue.

How In the first minute and subsequent odd-numbered minutes do ten normal press-ups and rest for the remainder of the minute. In even-numbered minutes do ten reps of another press-up variation that targets the shoulders or triceps more, then rest for the remainder of the minute. So you’ll do a total of 300 press-ups in just 30 minutes to improve muscular strength and endurance. If ten reps feels too easy, do 12-15 reps in each minute.

Press-up Burpee Challenges

How do press-up burpees


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Stand tall, then drop down so your hands are on the floor and your knees are tucked in to your chest. Kick your legs backwards to get into the press-up position then perform the move with perfect form. Bring your legs back in to your chest, jump up and land back in the start position.

Minute mayhem

Do as many reps as you can in a minute. This is simple and effective. Working against the clock will help to push your body out of its comfort zone. Make a note of your score and try to beat it next time.

Burpee ladder

Do one press-up burpee, then do another rep, but this time do two mid-rep press-ups. Continue that pattern, adding one press-up each time, until you reach failure. Aim to beat your score next time.

Burpee battle

Do this with a training partner. You do one rep, then your partner does one rep. You do two, then your partner does two. Keep adding a rep until one of you fails.

Joe Warner
Joe Warner

Joe Warner worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach, from 2008 to 2013, then returned as editor of Men’s Fitness UK from 2016 to 2019.