A gecko doing a push-up

As we speak I’m going that can assist you obtain your first push-up!

Yep, I do know that sounds tremendous assured.

But it surely’s as a result of I’ve a push-up development plan that’s helped a great deal of shoppers in our On-line Teaching Program crush their first push-up. 

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Observe our information and also you’ll be doing “Earth Downs” very quickly:

Text that says "Push-ups? You mean Earth Downs?"

Let’s get began.

What’s the Finest Push-up Development Plan?

As I talk about within the video above, a very powerful a part of your push-up development plan: consistency.

Yeah, I do know, there’s nothing too earth-shattering there.

However it doesn’t matter what your present energy stage is, one of the best ways to work in direction of a push-up is to coach your push muscle tissues constantly. Regardless of the place you’re beginning at this time.

That is how our good friend Mason went from wall push-ups to common push-ups, then all the way in which to diamond push-ups.

Mason before and after

Oh, and he misplaced like 70 kilos alongside the way in which too!

I’ll talk about push-up variations you need to begin throughout the subsequent part. Plus, we’ll wrap up at this time’s information by discussing simply how usually you need to practice your push muscle tissues.

Simply bear in mind, if you need your first push-up (and you need to trigger push-ups are superior), then you definately’ll must be according to our push-up development plan.



Our first cease on the Push-up Development Plan: discovering a push-up variation so that you can turn out to be comfy with. One thing you are able to do about 8-10 reps with, for about 3-4 units.

To begin, you’ll in all probability practice with an elevated push-up variation:

Staci doing an elevated push-up

These shall be simpler than an everyday push-up, because the increased the elevation, the much less of your physique’s weight you’ll be lifting in the course of the motion.

Conversely, should you have been to raise your toes, you’d really be lifting greater than an everyday push-up:

Elevated push-ups like this are a great way to bodyweight train.

Let’s present a tough breakdown of the proportion of your physique’s weight lifted for various elevations of push-ups.[1]

The Share of Physique Weight Supported by Our Fingers Throughout Push-Ups:

  • 4’ Elevated Push-up (Wall): 9%
  • 3′ Elevated Push-up (Countertop): 20%
  • 2′ Elevated Push-up: 36-41%
  • Knee Push-up: 49%
  • 1′ Elevated Push-up: 54%
  • Common Push-up: 64%

The technique behind our push-up development plan is to slowly transfer you right down to the bottom, lifting an increasing number of of your personal weight as you go.

Consider it like gaining XP in a online game, so someday you’ll have the ability to sort out the ultimate boss: the ground.

A witch going into a basement

It’d assist to faux there’s a witch beneath it. 

Alright, let’s present you precisely the best way to do a few of these push-up variations.

4 Push-up Variations (to Progress to a Full Push-Up)

A figure doing a push-up

The push-up variations beneath may be regarded as benchmarks.

For those who can’t full 8-10 reps, nbd.

We’ll have you ever practice on the stage beneath and also you’ll transfer up earlier than you already know it.

Listed below are 4 variations for our Push-up Development Plan:

Push-up Development Stage 1: Wall Push-ups

Coach Jim doing a wall push-up

Place your fingers on a wall about chest weight (roughly 4′, 48″, or 122 cm). Bend your arms and get as near the wall earlier than pushing again up.

Push-up Development Stage 2: Waist-Excessive Push-ups

Staci showing you an elevated push-up

Place your fingers on a floor about waist excessive (roughly 3′, 36″, or 92 cm). Bend your arms and contact your chest to the floor earlier than pushing again up.

Push-up Development Stage 3: Knee-Excessive Push-ups

Coach Jim doing a knee high push-up

Place your fingers on a floor about knee excessive (roughly 1.5′, 18″, or 46 cm). Bend your arms and contact your chest to the floor earlier than pushing again up.

Push-up Development Stage 4: Knee Push-ups

Rebel Leader Steve doing knee push-ups

Maintain your self up in your fingers and knees, with the physique in a straight line from shoulders to knees. Decrease right down to the bottom earlier than pushing again up.

FINAL BOSS: Push-ups!

Here Rebel Leader Steve shows you the classic push-up.

You made it to a push-up!

Are you doing them accurately?

Our subsequent part will dive into the right kind, since this can be a information on getting your first correct push-up (I wouldn’t maintain out on you).

However first, you might be asking your self a query: when do I progress as much as the subsequent stage?

For that, I’d advocate downloading our new app (it’s free to check out).

Nerd Health Journey will information you thru a exercise routine particularly designed that can assist you get your first push-up, with benchmarks and indicators on when to maneuver up. 

Plus, you get to earn precise XP so that you stage up your very personal superhero!

You can provide it a free check drive proper right here:

What Is the Correct Type for a Push-Up?

The video above walks you thru the right approach to do a correct push-up, and likewise features a few well-placed jokes from yours actually.

Right here’s the best way to full one excellent push-up:

  • Along with your arms straight, glutes clenched, and abs braced, steadily decrease your self till your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or much less.
  • Attempt to hold your elbows comparatively near your physique, and hold notice of after they begin to flare out as you get drained.
  • As soon as your chest (or nostril/chin) touches the ground (or your arms go right down to a 90-degree angle), pause barely after which push again up till you’re on the beginning place.

Listed below are 4 frequent errors with push-ups:

#1) Be sure to hold your elbows in. Usually, rookies will flare out their elbows when doing a push-up.

A great way to consider this, is you need your physique to seem extra like an ARROW from the highest, not a T.

This infographic on the right push-up kind reveals you need I imply:

As you can see, you want your arms to be like an arrow, not a T when doing push-ups.

#2) Preserve your head according to your physique. We don’t need your head shifting ahead, which may put pointless stress in your neck and forestall a full vary of movement.

#3) Preserve your hips according to your physique (no sagging). We wish you in a single straight line as you push your physique up and down:

A gif of Coach Jim doing push-ups in a small space.

#4) Try and do a full vary of movement together with your push-up (so long as it’s pain-free). Shoot to return all the way in which down, so your chest is touching the bottom or the item you’re doing push-ups towards.

In order for you extra assist right here, we have now a full information on the best way to do correct push-ups, (together with superior variations to strive).

Workout routines For Reaching a Full Push-Up

These LEGO characters are on a mission to grow some muscle.

There are two workout routines that may go a great distance in direction of attaining your first push-up:

  1. Push-up Negatives
  2. Entrance Planks or Prime of Push-up Holds

First, let’s speak about push-up negatives.

“Unfavorable” in train terminology usually means solely doing half of a conventional rep, usually reducing the motion.

Coach Jim doing a push-up negative

To do a Push-up Unfavorable

  • Maintain your self up on the high of a push-up, with the physique in a straight line from shoulders to toes.
  • Decrease down and contact the bottom, then let the knees relaxation on the bottom that can assist you push again up.
  • You are able to do a push-up unfavorable from an elevated floor too.

Subsequent, let’s speak about Entrance Planks or Holding on the Prime of a Push-up.

The plank is a great bodyweight exercise to engage your core muscles.

That is necessary for a number of causes:

Holding a plank is likely to be powerful for you, so let’s speak about a number of variations you possibly can experiment with.

Maintain Stage 1: Knee Planks

Coach Jim doing a knee front plank

Maintain your self up in your forearms and knees, with the physique in a straight line from shoulders to knees.

Maintain Stage 2: Entrance Planks

Coach Staci showing you the front plant

Lie on the ground together with your forearms flat, ensuring that your elbows are aligned instantly underneath your shoulders.

Interact your core and lift your physique off the ground in a straight line from head to toes, retaining your forearms planted. Strive to not let your hips rise or drop.

Maintain Stage 3: Push-up Maintain

Coach Jim holding the top of a push-up

Maintain your self up on the high of a push-up place, with the physique in a straight line from shoulders to toes.

For those who observe the Push-up Problem in NF Journey, you’ll discover that just about each exercise ends with a sort of one in every of these holds, since core energy is so important for push-ups.

Oh, and if you wish to simply strive Nerd Health Journey to see what I imply, you are able to do so proper right here:

The Push-up Exercise Plan

a doll doing a push-up

Bear in mind earlier after I stated the secret with push-up development is consistency?

To point out you what I imply, it’s time to construct a exercise for conquering push-ups.

I’d advocate three exercises every week for a Push-up Development Plan, with a relaxation day between.

Might be Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday.

So long as there’s a day without work between exercises, it’s tremendous.

Coach Jim doing elevated push-up

Oh, and should you can solely do two exercises every week, that’s okay too. Simply do the perfect you possibly can (even as soon as every week).

The “Get Your First Push-up” Exercise is:

  • A Heat-Up
  • 3 or 4 units of a Push-up Variation for 8-10 reps
  • 2 or 3 reps of a Push-up Unfavorable
  • 60 second Plank or Maintain

Let’s dive into every of those a bit extra.

Step #1) Heat-up

  • Arm circles: 10x/approach
  • Wrist stretches: 5/aspect

Arm circles for push-ups will appear like this:

Arm circles like so are a great way to get your heart rate up before doing HIIT.

Wrist stretches for push-ups will appear like so:

Coach Jim doing wrist stretches backwards

You’ll be able to at all times do a extra formal warm-up routine, however simply be sure to embrace some variation of those two strikes.

Step #2) Prepare with a Push-up Variation

Earlier, we went by 4 variations that may make it easier to get your first push-up.

After your warm-up, you need to practice with one in every of them.

For our Push-up Development Plan, I would like you to alternate between two variations:

  • On Day A, do 3 or 4 units of a push-up variation that you are able to do 8-10 reps in.
  • On Day B, do 3 or 4 units of a push-up variation that you are able to do 5-8 reps in (so a more durable variation).

For instance:

  • On Monday perhaps you do 3 units of waist-high push-ups for 10 reps.
  • Wednesday, you are able to do 3 units of knee-high push-ups for 8 reps.
  • Then Friday, again to the waist-high variation.

Step #3) Do a Unfavorable

After you practice together with your push-up variation, I would like you to try 2-3 reps of a unfavorable push-up.

If these are too powerful, merely do a better variation, like knee push-up negatives:

Any of the 4 variations we mentioned earlier may be performed as a “unfavorable.”

These negatives shall be necessary, as they’ll go a great distance in direction of constructing energy for an everyday push-up.

Step #4) Plank/Maintain for 60 seconds

We’re going to finish our “Get Your First Push-up” Exercise with a maintain:

  • Entrance Plank
  • Holding the Prime of the Push-up

Select whichever variation you want, however try to carry the place for a full minute, with as few units as doable.

A plank, like so, is a great way to engage your core.

If you might want to break up the 60-second maintain, you may:

  • Do three units of 20 seconds every.
  • Do two units of 30 seconds every.

Simply goal to go longer and longer as you go. For those who can’t make it to a full minute, don’t stress. Simply work on holding a knee or elevated plank.

These holds will assist strengthen your core, which shall be important for doing push-ups with correct kind.

Oh, and if you need somebody to change this exercise for you (let’s say you additionally wish to do some HIIT for fats loss) our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program can just do that.

Plus, your coach can evaluate your actions by our app so that you’ll know your coaching accurately and safely.

How one can Obtain Your First Push-up (Subsequent Steps)

A man doing push-up in sunset

That ought to offer you every thing you might want to get began with the push-up development plan.

Bear in mind…

The “Get Your First Push-up” Exercise is:

  • A Heat-Up
  • 3 or 4 units of a Push-up Variation for 8-10 reps
  • 2 or 3 reps of a Push-up Unfavorable
  • 60 second Plank or Maintain

Do that 3 times every week, with a day of relaxation between exercises, and also you’ll be good to go.

Wayne is stoked that he made his small change for weight loss.

As you proceed on the Push-up Development Plan, bear in mind to maintain pushing more durable. We wish you slowly however certainly growing the problem of the exercise (recognized within the biz as “progressive overload.”)

This may very well be:

  • Including one other rep (8 reps of waist-high push-ups to 9)
  • Including one other set (3 units of knee push-ups to 4)
  • Transferring as much as a tougher variation (waist-high push-ups to knee-high)

Oh, and should you want any assist alongside the way in which, I gotcha boo.

Right here’s the best way to proceed your journey with Nerd Health:

#1) Our On-line Teaching Program: excellent for somebody who desires an knowledgeable (like me!) to design the precise path for conquering push-ups. We’re all completely different, so why not have a coach information you thru a program that’s custom-made for you?

You’ll be able to schedule a free name with our group so we will get to know you and see if our teaching program can be match. Simply click on on the picture beneath for extra particulars:

#2) In order for you a precise blueprint for crushing push-ups, take a look at NF Journey. Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra steadily, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually).

Plus, our 6-week Push-up Problem has helped fairly a number of Rebels obtain their first push-up!

Katie talking about how she got her first push-up using NF Journey

Strive your free trial proper right here:

#3) Be a part of the Rebel! We’d like good folks such as you in our group, the Nerd Health Rebel. You’ll meet people from all completely different walks of life, all of whom are attempting to stage up their lives. 

Join within the field beneath to enlist and get our “Energy Coaching 101: Every little thing You Must Know” information, which can educate you precisely the best way to develop sturdy sufficient to rock push-ups:

Alright, I wish to hear from you now:

Are you able to do a correct push-up?

If not, what stage are you on?

Are we lacking any useful options for a newbie?

Let me know within the feedback!


PS: Take a look at the remainder of our guides on doing push-ups:


Photograph supply: Gecko push-upDetermine push-up; 102, 103, 104…; doll push-up, push-up sundown;

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