Follow our British Army PTI-approved 10-step programme for your best ever physique.
Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart. For safety reasons, make sure that the bar is placed in a squat rack about an inch or two below your shoulders/clavicles. Take the bar and place it above your clavicles while rotating your elbows upwards. This creates a ‘shelf’ across the shoulders and anterior deltoids. After un-racking, stay tight and pull the hips back slightly to place the majority of the resistance onto the heels. Then drive through the heels, to full hip and knee extension. At the top of the lift, exhale, then breathe again to create intra-abdominal pressure before the next rep.
TOES TO BAR
Start fully extended, body straight, arms straight, then contract the abdominals. The shoulder joint is vulnerable in this position, so you want an active shoulder, engaged and pulling on the rig rather than just hanging. Keeping the legs as straight as possible, rotate around to touch the bar with your feet between your hands. Bring the feet back down, in a controlled way to the fully extended position. If it’s too advanced, regress the exercise by bringing the knees to the elbows instead.
Get into a normal press-up position. Squat-thrust in, to bring your feet towards the chest, finishing with your feet flat on the floor. Then stand up, activating the glutes and the leg muscles. Lower back down with a simultaneous break of the hip, knee and ankle. Repeat.
LATERAL BOX JUMP
Stand to the side of the box. Dip slightly, then use your arms to drive up explosively, jumping onto the box. Use a two-footed take-off and land in no more than a quarter-squat. Then jump down two-footed to land on the opposite side of the box and repeat.
Take the bar and allow it to sit along the shoulder/clavicle area. Keep your elbows high with a fairly loose grip, so the barbell doesn’t pull you forward. Ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath, all the way down into your groin and hold it there to create intra-abdominal pressure that stabilises the core and spine. Fully extend your arms to create a straight line through the ankle, hip and shoulder. At the top of the press, ensure that the elbows and shoulders are fully extended to maintain stability. Return to the starting position.
HAND RELEASE PRESS-UP
This goes further than the standard press-up because there’s a bigger range of movement and your whole body touches the floor. Start by lying flat with your chest and hips in contact with the ground. Place your hands just outside the shoulders with your arms bent. Brace in the midline, press to fully extend the arms, ensuring your body moves as a single unit. Lower yourself under control until the chest and hips reach the floor. Take your hands off the ground, then keeping the palms and forearms parallel to the ground extend them out in front of you. Return them to your shoulders and repeat.
First get into a press-up position. Bend the elbows and rest your body weight onto the forearms. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles, with your head in a neutral position. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine. Hold this static position for a prescribed time, starting with 30 seconds and building up to a minute. And don’t hold your breath!
Jump up and take hold of the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart with straight arms. Make sure your thumbs wrap round under the bar to close the grip rather than going over the top of the bar. Lift yourself up by pulling your elbows to the floor. Keep pulling until your chin passes the bar. Then lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight. Repeat.
Lay on a bench underneath a racked barbell or weight and place your hands roughly shoulder-width apart. Lower the weight under control until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale slowly and drive the weight back up to full extension.
Place your hands roughly shoulder-width apart on the bar and lift the weight by pushing your legs through the floor, while making sure you keep your chin and chest up. Maintain a flat back and straighten the legs to pull all the way up until the body is completely straight.
By joining the Army, you could become a Physical Training Instructor (PTI). To find out more, head to www.army.mod.uk/belong/