Thanks to Pakistan’s genial and inspirational cricket captain, impromptu press-ups have become a sudden craze!

The 42-year-old scored an historic 100 against England at Lords, the ‘Home of Cricket’ – the oldest captain ever to do so and the second oldest player to score a Test Match century at Lords in the last 100 years.

All well and good, but it is what he did next that started the craze…


On reaching his landmark century Misbah acknowledged the crowd before throwing himself to the turf and started banging out a load of press-ups in front of a sell-out crowd and TV audience of millions!

And before we knew it stewards at the ground were copying him, fans, broadcasters…. And it even spread to the Open Championship at Troon where golfers, commentators and course officials were all doing ‘The Misbah’!

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So let’s look at the press-up, or push-up as you may know it.

It is easy to think of it as ‘the humble press-up’. It’s probably the one exercise everybody can name, even the most ardent anti-workout types!

As a result there is seemingly nothing much ‘glamorous’, ‘clever’ or ‘exciting’ about the good old press-up, particularly in this era of analytical training and complex sports science. But this is to greatly undervalue what is truly one of the best and most practical of all exercises.

The conventional press-up (only hands and toes on floor) involves pushing approximately 60% of your body weight which, in relative terms, always makes this a genuinely decent resistance. But of course there are almost infinite variations which very much alter the impact of the exercise. Starting with knees on the floor versions for beginners to one armed or clapping press-ups for the advanced. And everything in between.

It really is the universal exercise and this is certainly an opinion shared by other WatchFit Experts.

Joey Bull. 4 x UK Fitness Champion, international trainer, author & presenter of eight workout DVDs.

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“If I was told I could only do two or three exercises from the rest of my life – the press-up and its variations would always be one. It is so versatile and adaptable. The intensity and sheer number of options you have to hit different parts of your body are just fantastic.

“And, contrary to what many people might think, it’s not all about arms and shoulders. Press-ups effectively hit arms and shoulders of course, but also chest, back, core and even quads”.

Fitness professional, psychotherapist and former TV Gladiator ‘Jet’, Diane Youdale added; “I love them! In all my years of dance, physical training and Gladiators, press-ups were ever present. Their beauty is you can do much. Just by altering your hand positions – wide, narrow, touching, staggered, jumping them off the floor, clapping between presses you radically change the exercise and the way in which it hits your body”.

Bannatyne Gym trainer Ina Gutowska added, “And the same applies to the lower body. I know people think of press-ups as an upper body exercise but what your lower body does has a huge impact on the exercises you can do. Feet wide apart, legs together, one leg raised, one foot hung over the back of the other heel, feet elevated on a bench or suchlike – all of these small adjustments effectively give you a new exercise to play with”.

So as celebration trends go and sudden crazes, the Misbah Press-Up is at least a really positive one and hopefully a few more people are making it a regular part of their resistance training!

Connect with Expert Guy Holland.

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