The Push-up Development Plan (Get Your First Push-up!)


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In the present day 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 shoppers in our On-line Teaching Program crush their first push-up. 

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Comply with 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 do know, there’s nothing too earth-shattering there.

However it doesn’t matter what your present energy stage is, the easiest way to work in the direction of a push-up is to coach your push muscle tissues constantly. Irrespective of the place you’re beginning at the moment.

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

Mason before and after

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

I’ll focus on push-up variations it is best to begin with within the subsequent part. Plus, we’ll wrap up at the moment’s information by discussing simply how typically it is best to prepare your push muscle tissues.

Simply bear in mind, in order for you your first push-up (and it is best to, trigger push-ups are superior), then you definately’ll have to be per our push-up development plan.



Our first cease on the Push-up Development Plan: discovering a push-up variation so that you can develop into 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 prepare with an elevated push-up variation:

Staci doing an elevated push-up

These shall be simpler than an everyday push-up, for the reason that increased the elevation, the much less of your physique’s weight you’ll be lifting throughout the motion.

Conversely, should you had 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 increasingly of your individual weight as you go.

Consider it like gaining XP in a online game, so sooner or later you’ll be capable to deal with the ultimate boss: the ground.

A witch going into a basement

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

Alright, let’s present you precisely learn how 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 might be regarded as benchmarks.

In the event you can’t full 8-10 reps, nbd.

We’ll have you ever prepare on the stage beneath and also you’ll transfer up earlier than you already know 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 kind, since this can be a information on getting your first correct push-up (I wouldn’t maintain out on you).

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

For that, I’d suggest 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 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 proper option to do a correct push-up, and in addition features a few well-placed jokes from yours actually.

Right here’s learn how to full one good push-up:

Listed here are 4 frequent errors with push-ups:

#1) Be sure you preserve your elbows in. Typically, newbies 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 in keeping with 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 in keeping with your physique (no sagging). We would like 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 to do a full vary of movement together with your push-up (so long as it’s pain-free). Shoot to return all the best way down, so your chest is touching the bottom or the article you’re doing push-ups in opposition to.

If you’d like extra assist right here, we’ve got a full information on learn how 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 workouts that can go a good distance in the 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.

“Damaging” in train terminology usually means solely doing half of a standard rep, usually decreasing the motion.

Coach Jim doing a push-up negative

To do a Push-up Damaging

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 perhaps robust for you, so let’s speak about a number of variations you may 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 immediately beneath your shoulders.

Interact your core and lift your physique off the ground in a straight line from head to toes, holding 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 prime of a push-up place, with the physique in a straight line from shoulders to toes.

In the event you comply with the Push-up Problem in NF Journey, you’ll discover that just about each exercise ends with a kind of one among 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 indicate you what I imply, it’s time to construct a exercise for conquering push-ups.

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

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

So long as there’s a time off between exercises, it’s effective.

Coach Jim doing elevated push-up

Oh, and should you can solely do two exercises every week, that’s okay too. Simply do one of the best you may (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 Damaging
  • 60 second Plank or Maintain

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

Step #1) Heat-up

  • Arm circles: 10x/means
  • Wrist stretches: 5/facet

Arm circles for push-ups will appear to be 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 to be so:

Coach Jim doing wrist stretches backwards

You may all the time do a extra formal warm-up routine, however simply be sure you embody some variation of those two strikes.

Step #2) Prepare with a Push-up Variation

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

After your warm-up, it is best to prepare with one among 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 Damaging

After you prepare together with your push-up variation, I would like you to try 2-3 reps of a damaging 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 might be accomplished as a “damaging.”

These negatives shall be necessary, as they’ll go a good distance in the 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 it’s worthwhile to break up the 60-second maintain, you would:

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

Simply intention to go longer and longer as you go. In the event 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 shall be important for doing push-ups with correct kind.

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 way of 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 worthwhile to get began with the push-up development plan.

Bear in mind…

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

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 would like you slowly however certainly growing the problem of the exercise (recognized within the biz as “progressive overload.”)

This could possibly 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 harder variation (waist-high push-ups to knee-high)

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

Right here’s learn how to proceed your journey with Nerd Health:

#1) Our On-line Teaching Program: good for somebody who desires an professional (like me!) to design the best 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 may schedule a free name with our workforce so we will get to know you and see if our teaching program can be a superb match. Simply click on on the picture beneath for extra particulars:

#2) If you’d like a precise blueprint for crushing push-ups, try NF Journey. Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra regularly, 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 part of the Rise up! We want good folks such as you in our group, the Nerd Health Rise up. You’ll meet people from all completely different walks of life, all of whom try to stage up their lives. 

Enroll within the field beneath to enlist and get our “Energy Coaching 101: All the things You Must Know” information, which is able to educate you precisely learn how 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 recommendations for a newbie?

Let me know within the feedback!


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


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


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