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Increasing the amount of Push Ups you can do (even if you can't do any!)

You can check out a video of these video progressions by following this link

Before we get into the different steps doing push ups, we need to get our arm positioning correct. Hands should be in line with your chest with your elbows pushed back towards your feet as opposed to sticking out wide from your body which is a common mistake. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor at all times. Torque your arms out to create more tension in the body (this will also help bring your arms back) and brace your core.

With all variations of the push ups, they should be done slowly. Bring your body as close as you can to the surface you are using and then back up slowly. The movement should not be rushed and your arms should be the only part of your body moving.

If your wrists are always hurting when you are doing push ups, try do them with your hand in a fist and knuckles on the floor.

I use this step by step approach in my classes and with my clients to help progress their push ups:
Step 1: Wall Push Ups 3 x 30 Reps (if you struggle to do a single push up)
Find a wall or even a kitchen counter to do push ups from. Because of your body angle doing the push ups, these will be much easier to do. So do up to 30 wall push ups, rest for one minute and repeat another 2 times. Keep this routine for 1-2 weeks before you progress on to step 2

wall pushups

Step 2: Push Ups from the Knees 4 x 15 Reps
Your body angle is now closer to a full push up but having your knees rested makes the exercise much easier. Make sure there is a straight line from your knees to your head. Because your knees are on the ground, try to make sure you are going as low as you possibly can before pushing yourself back up.

push ups from knees

Step 3: The Push Ups Drop 3 x 10 Reps
From a regular push up position (knees off the ground) lower yourself to the ground as slowly as you can until you are relaxed on the ground (or a light drop). Then use your knees to bring yourself up to that push up position and repeat again. Ensure your core is tight and your body is in a straight line from your feet to your head.

Step 4: Push Up Drops Plus Push Ups from the Knees 3 x 20
If you’re comfortable doing 3 sets of 10 reps for push up drops, perform 5 reps of the push up drops before immediately going to your knees and performing the remaining 15 reps as Step 3’s Push Ups from the knees

Step 5: Push Ups 3x 10 Reps
If Step 4 is achievable, then full push ups should be achievable. Try and reach the 10 reps before stopping. If you are forced to stop before reaching 10 reps, drop down to your knees and finish the reps.

regular push ups

Once you can do 3 x 10 Reps of push ups with ease, there are a few ways you can increase your reps from here. Simply adding 1-2 reps on to each set for each day you are doing them is one. 

Vary the sets and reps for your push ups. 3x20 reps one day to 2x30 the next and gradually increase the numbers from there.

Another way of increasing your numbers is adding variations to your push ups. Check out my 20:20 video HERE on different push ups you can implement into your programming