Do you remember the 80’s TV programme Super Stars? Well I feel like I am training to take part. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it was the original gladiator – people pitted against each other – the winner was the fittest, strongest contestant. They did some wacky exercises/games, but the one that sorted the men from the boys was the humble press up.
So far during my karate class I have counted 10 varieties of press up.
Being a junior grade (aka as soft and uncoordinated as they come) I am allowed to do ‘normal’ press up, on the flats of my hands. The ‘normal’ press up for senior grades is on the punching knuckles (index and middle). Ouch.
But it doesn’t stop there! Oh no…not on your Nelly (that’s not a press up, by the way!)
From knuckles we go to finger tips. Fingers splayed apart trying to bridge your own weight – note to self ‘I must lose weight!’. Try it and you will see the joints of your fingers turn whiter than a beluga whale on a cold day, whilst the bits of finger in between the joins go redder than an embarrassed chorizo. Ouch.
Then we are encouraged to lift up a finger up at a time, starting with your little finger… until you are doing a press up on only two fingers. Needless to say at this point I almost fainted.
From there we switched to press ups a la reloj (clock face): a variety of hand positions like 9 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 25 to 5 etc. They were manageable.
Then came press ups with hands facing in towards each other with finger tips touching – hurts a lot on the triceps. Then it was press ups clapping in between each rise like a demented sea-lion.
And the final press-up on the menu? Thumbs.