When it comes to getting and staying in shape, press up exercises have the ability to build total body strength and fitness. They work the muscles in your arms, chest, back, and even your legs as you lift and lower your bodyweight. However, the key to avoiding injury and achieving maximum gain is to follow a few simple tips when performing your press up exercise. They include:Make sure your back is straight during the course of the press up so that you don’t hurt it in the process, rendering you unable to exercise at all. To do this, just imagine that it has a board or long ruler attached to it to help you retain this position. Remember to breathe out every time you push up. It may be tempting to hold your breath during this portion of the exercise, but you want to keep the air pumping into your lungs so that some good quality oxygen can easily be delivered to your cells and muscles. To place more emphasis on your triceps (the muscles on the back of your upper arms), move your hands closer together, placing them more underneath you as opposed to keeping them shoulder width apart when you do your press ups. If you’d like to work your chest muscles more, move your hands further apart, or wider than shoulder width, and that will do the trick. Just be careful to not go so wide that you compromise your form. To make the press up exercise more difficult, pause for two to four seconds when your arms are fully extended before lowering your body back down. This is similar to doing a plank, which tests the strength of your muscles and works to build their endurance.Press ups are a great way to enhance your fitness. Follow these five tips and you’ll enhance it even more!