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The Push-up Development Plan (Get Your First Push-up!) | Nerd Health Get hold of US

At present I’m going that will help you obtain your first push-up!

Yep, I do know that sounds tremendous assured.

Nevertheless it’s as a result of I’ve a push-up development plan that’s helped a great deal of purchasers 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 Greatest Push-up Development Plan?

As I focus on within the video above, crucial a part of your push-up development plan: consistency.

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

But no matter what your current strength level is, the best way to work towards a push-up is to train your push muscles consistently. No matter where you’re starting today.

This is how our friend Mason went from wall push-ups to regular push-ups, then all the way to diamond push-ups.

Mason before and after

Oh, and he lost like 70 pounds along the way too!

I’ll discuss push-up variations you should start within the next section. Plus, we’ll wrap up today’s guide by discussing just how often you should train your push muscles.

Just remember, if you want your first push-up (and you should cause push-ups are awesome), then you’ll need to be consistent with our push-up progression plan.



Our first stop on the Push-up Progression Plan: finding a push-up variation for you to become comfortable with. Something you can do about 8-10 reps with, for about 3-4 sets.

To start, you’ll probably train with an elevated push-up variation:

Staci doing an elevated push-up

These will be easier than a regular push-up, since the higher the elevation, the less of your body’s weight you’ll be lifting during the movement.

Conversely, if you were to elevate your feet, you’d actually be lifting more than a regular push-up:

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

Let’s provide a rough breakdown of the percentage of your body’s weight lifted for different elevations of push-ups.[1]

The Share of Physique Weight Supported by Our Palms 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 increasingly of your personal weight as you go.

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

A witch going into a basement

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

Alright, let’s present you precisely the right 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 could be regarded as benchmarks.

In case you 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 understand it.

Listed here 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 arms 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 arms 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 arms 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 arms 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 appropriately?

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

However first, it’s possible you’ll 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 will help you get your first push-up, with benchmarks and alerts on when to maneuver up. 

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

You may give it a free take a look at drive proper right here:

What Is the Correct Type for a Push-Up?

The video above walks you thru the proper strategy to do a correct push-up, and in addition features a few well-placed jokes from yours really.

Right here’s the right way to full one good 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 here are 4 frequent errors with push-ups:

#1) Ensure you hold your elbows in. Usually, freshmen will flare out their elbows when doing a push-up.

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

This infographic on the correct push-up type exhibits 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) Maintain your head according to your physique. We don’t need your head shifting ahead, which might put pointless stress in your neck and forestall a full vary of movement.

#3) Maintain 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 come back 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’ve got a full information on how to do proper push-ups, (including advanced variations to try).

Exercises For Achieving a Full Push-Up

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

There are two exercises that will go a long way towards achieving your first push-up:

  1. Push-up Negatives
  2. Front Planks or Top of Push-up Holds

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

“Negative” in exercise terminology generally means only doing half of a traditional rep, normally lowering the movement.

Coach Jim doing a push-up negative

To do a Push-up Negative

  • Hold yourself up at the top of a push-up, with the body in a straight line from shoulders to feet.
  • Lower down and touch the ground, then let the knees rest on the ground to help you push back up.
  • You can do a push-up negative from an elevated surface too.

Next, let’s talk about Front Planks or Holding at the Top of a Push-up.

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

This is important for a few reasons:

Holding a plank might be tough for you, so let’s talk about a few variations you can experiment with.

Hold Level 1: Knee Planks

Coach Jim doing a knee front plank

Hold yourself up on your forearms and knees, with the body in a straight line from shoulders to knees.

Hold Level 2: Front Planks

Coach Staci showing you the front plant

Lie on the floor with your forearms flat, making sure that your elbows are aligned directly under your shoulders.

Engage your core and raise your body off the floor in a straight line from head to feet, keeping your forearms planted. Try not to let your hips rise or drop.

Hold Level 3: Push-up Hold

Coach Jim holding the top of a push-up

Hold yourself up at the top of a push-up position, with the body in a straight line from shoulders to feet.

If you follow the Push-up Challenge in NF Journey, you’ll notice that pretty much every workout ends with a type of one of these holds, since core strength is so critical for push-ups.

Oh, and if you want to just try Nerd Fitness Journey to see what I mean, you can do so right here:

The Push-up Workout Plan

a doll doing a push-up

Remember earlier when I said the name of the game with push-up progression is consistency?

To show you what I mean, it’s time to build a workout for conquering push-ups.

I’d recommend three workouts a week for a Push-up Progression Plan, with a rest day between.

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

As long as there’s a day off between workouts, it’s fine.

Coach Jim doing elevated push-up

Oh, and if you can only do two workouts a week, that’s okay too. Just do the best you can (even once a week).

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

  • A Warm-Up
  • 3 or 4 sets of a Push-up Variation for 8-10 reps
  • 2 or 3 reps of a Push-up Negative
  • 60 second Plank or Hold

Let’s dive into each of these a bit more.

Step #1) Warm-up

  • Arm circles: 10x/way
  • Wrist stretches: 5/side

Arm circles for push-ups will look 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 look like so:

Coach Jim doing wrist stretches backwards

You can always do a more formal warm-up routine, but just make sure you include some variation of these two moves.

Step #2) Train with a Push-up Variation

Earlier, we went through 4 variations that may aid you get your first push-up.

After your warm-up, it’s best to practice with considered one of them.

For our Push-up Development Plan, I need 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 possibly 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 need you to aim 2-3 reps of a destructive push-up.

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

Any of the 4 variations we mentioned earlier could be completed as a “destructive.”

These negatives will probably be vital, as they’ll go a good distance in direction of constructing energy for a daily 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 it’s essential break up the 60-second maintain, you can:

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

Simply goal to go longer and longer as you go. In case you 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 will probably be vital for doing push-ups with correct type.

Oh, and in order for you somebody to switch 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 do exactly that.

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

The right way to Obtain Your First Push-up (Subsequent Steps)

A man doing push-up in sunset

That ought to offer you all the pieces it’s essential get began with the push-up development plan.

Keep 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 thrice per 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, keep in mind to maintain pushing more durable. We wish you slowly however absolutely growing the problem of the exercise (identified within the biz as “progressive overload.”)

This could be:

  • Adding another rep (8 reps of waist-high push-ups to 9)
  • Adding another set (3 sets of knee push-ups to 4)
  • Moving up to a more difficult variation (waist-high push-ups to knee-high)

Oh, and if you need any help along the way, I gotcha boo.

Here’s how to continue your journey with Nerd Fitness:

#1) Our Online Coaching Program: perfect for someone who wants an expert (like me!) to design the right path for conquering push-ups. We’re all different, so why not have a coach guide you through a program that’s custom-made for you?

You can schedule a free call with our team so we can get to know you and see if our coaching program would be a good fit. Just click on the image below for more details:

#2) If you want an exact blueprint for crushing push-ups, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Plus, our 6-week Push-up Challenge has helped quite a few Rebels achieve their first push-up!

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

Try your free trial right here:

#3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. You’ll meet individuals from all different walks of life, all of whom are trying to level up their lives. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our “Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know” guide, which will teach you exactly how to grow strong enough to rock push-ups:

Alright, I want to hear from you now:

Can you do a proper push-up?

If not, what level are you on?

Are we missing any helpful suggestions for a beginner?

Let me know in the comments!


PS: Check out the rest of our guides on doing push-ups:


Photo source: Gecko push-upFigure push-up; 102, 103, 104…; doll push-up, push-up sunset;

#Pushup #Development #Plan #Pushup #Nerd #Health

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