The 31-Day Squat, Lunge and Pushup Plan

by Tony Bonvechio
Share it:
The 31-Day Squat, Lunge and Pushup Plan

If you want to get really good at something, it’s all about practice, practice, practice.

It seems obvious, but to achieve mastery, you need to practice every day. That goes for playing a musical instrument, learning a foreign language and exercise (your pushup won’t perfect itself).

This simple, yet effective, 31-day program features three basic exercises: the squat, the lunge and the pushup and targets your entire body without any equipment other than your own bodyweight.

Here’s how it works:

THE EXERCISES

SQUAT

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes turned slightly out.
  • Hold your arms out in front of you or put your hands on your hips for balance.
  • Push your knees out over your pinky toes and sit your hips back slightly as you start to lower yourself toward the floor.
  • Bend your hips and knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or lower if you’re comfortable).
  • Stand back up to the starting position and repeat.

LUNGE

  • Stand with your feet directly under your hips.
  • Take a long step forward with one foot and bend both knees until your back knee touches the ground.
  • Make sure you keep a straight line from your knee to your ankle on your front leg, and lean forward slightly to prevent arching your lower back.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.

PUSHUP

  • Start with your arms straight and hands on floor (or an elevated surface like a chair or bench) directly under your shoulders.
  • Keep a straight line from head to toe by making a double chin, bracing your abs and squeezing your glutes.
  • Lower yourself down slowly, keeping your elbows tucked at 45 degrees to your sides, until your chest hits the floor or bench.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position without letting your elbows flare out or lower back arch.

READ MORE > 5 STEPS TO YOUR FIRST PUSHUP


31-DAY SQUAT, LUNGE & PUSHUP PLAN

Start by doing 10 reps of each exercise on Day 1, and then add one rep per exercise every day for 31 days. By Day 31, you’ll be doing 40 reps of each exercise, adding up to a whopping 120 reps that day — and 420 reps over the course of a month.

TIPS FOR STAYING ON TRACK

  • Get a wall calendar and mark a big X through each day you complete. The visual of finishing each day will help keep you from missing workouts.
  • Set an alarm on your phone for the same time each day as a reminder to do your workout.
  • If you miss a day, don’t worry; just double up on the next day! The exercises are simple and light enough that you won’t exhaust yourself.
  • Stick with your bodyweight only. While it might be tempting to add weight, trust that your bodyweight is enough to make serious strength gains over 31 days.

GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT

> Men’s Workout Tops
> Men’s Workout Pants
> Women’s Workout Tops
> Women’s Workout Pants


Related

  • Ruth Wittenburg

    I did the squats and lunges but could just barely do 3 pushups and they probably weren’t done well. What about wall pushups?

    • Carolyn

      Wall push-ups is an easier transition to push-ups. There should be more modifications given for beginners

      • Lorea

        Pushups can also be done on your knees its an alternate modification

        • Joel

          I’m in

          • Donna-Maria

            I’m in !!

    • Jeff Gilman

      why not try modified pushups or pushups against a wall til u r stronger-or maybe just start with 3

    • John h

      I couldn’t do push ups I started with incline push up kitchen work too is perfect height to start at and get bidybat about 45 degrees with hands on edges of worktop

      Then as you get stronger start on the floor at the knees and then progress to straddle leg push ups and then finally push-ups.

      I noticed once I could do 5 – 6 proper push-ups I was able to do more and more with much quicker progression .

      Hope this helps

    • Donald Z

      If you have a set of stairs available, they provide a good way to build your strength incrementally. Start with your feet on the floor near the steps using the lowest step you are comfortable with, then, as your strength builds, move to a lower step for increased weight resistance.

    • usmcvet08

      As always, fantastic job with getting out there and getting after it! Scaling the push-ups is a great way to still achieve the results. Once you do your three push-ups as prescribed, transition to the wall to finish the set. This will allow you to continue pushing yourself and setting new records.

    • Andy

      Try doing the push up but on your knees instead of your toes.

  • Carolyn

    I think every other day is safer. Although you’re not using weights, your body weight is enough to require a rest day for optimal strength gain and recovery.

  • Sandy

    I’m in

    • Luis Bonilla

      im in….do we just do on our own or is this a “group” we join?

  • Joe bob

    Wouldn’t hurt to add sit ups to this as well. Get some core exercise!

  • Cassie

    Would be great if this calendar was a printable PDF!

    • GapeachLa

      Hi Cassie. Right click on the calendar and save as a picture. You can then print it or convert it into a pdf.

  • Angela Stogrin-Webb

    I am in missed today because I just found this. I agree with others, a printable PDF would have been great.

    • ConfidentWmn40

      I agree, but I just right-clicked on the picture and saved it, then printed it. 🙂

  • Teresa Getsi

    In

  • Jessica Hickman

    I’m in!!

  • LaTonya Fields

    I’m in also

  • Grnhouse

    I’m in

  • simonscholtz

    Im in

  • Amanda

    I’m in

  • Amanda Wigglesworth

    I’m in. Defo adding sit ups to this!

  • Knitterly Malabrigo

    I’m in

  • Tess Keaney

    I’m in

  • Chet Thompson

    I’m in and adding low plank: 1min wk 1; 1:15 wk 2; 1:30 wk 3 etc..

  • Mary

    Where is 420 coming from? With this plan, over the course of 31 days, there will be 775 reps of each exercise. Even better, and I’d sell it that way.

  • Sweetp

    I’m in!

  • Amy Helwig

    I’m in – with a moderated push up and adding sit ups 🙂

  • Sarah

    Is there a printable version of the calendar?

    • Open the image in a new window and then print it.

    • Kate Paullin

      If you save the calendar image, you can print it easily. It’s just a jpg.

  • I’m in! Doubling up for Day 1 and Day 2. Adding sit ups for a little core action.

  • kenoshagal

    First-timer here, but you mean to tell me this fancy app doesn’t have an option to ‘commit’ to the challenge, track progress and setup reminders?? I must be missing something here…

    • Carla

      Same thing I was thinking, I’m here like how can I start… save the calendar or something

      • Heidi Pompilio
        • KelFitzPhoto

          Thanks for the print out Heidi!

        • Jennifer Traster Schuler

          Thank you!!!

        • davedave12

          ty

        • bhaktigirl

          thank you!!!

      • SportsSignal

        Right-Click Save As…or……It’s just one each additional day, so do math. Day 1 is 10 of everything, and day 31 is 40 of everything. Simple addition along the way. You can do it.

        • edh

          not the issue It would be user friendly to have it added to one’s diary. Or hav reminders etc MFP is about motivation. seems they could do this with ‘challenges’ jes sayin

          • SportsSignal

            I stand by my assessment. If you need help with simple arithmetic, and need people to do even the most basic tasks for you…I pity you. Just do it yourself and spend 15 minutes and be proud you’re a self-sufficient human being for once.

          • Honest Avy

            lmfao I’m with you. It’s June and I have it added as a reminder on my phone. I’m forgetful as all get-out but I think even I can remember “Yesterday I did 14s so today I do 15s.”

          • davedave12

            print and tape to wall

      • Kristi

        Lol! Are you serious? It’s called a pen and paper…….

    • Chrissy Bogdonas

      I can’t get in either or the step into spring challenge. I’m not a prime member so maybe that’s it. . .

    • Jeff Gilman

      i was wondering the same thing-got it on my calendar-maybe put it on your phone reminder-

  • Alicia Walker

    Yes, I’m in and adding planks.

  • yvonne adams

    I am going to give this a try

  • Buckley

    Im in.

  • I love it!!

    • PALADIN

      What subsitututes for the plunge ?

      • alec120psi

        You could either try doing step ups on a stair or small box or another option is to do the lunge, but just go as low as you can without hurting your knee. This may look like a step with a slightly bent knee, but that is okay.

        • PALADIN

          Thank you. Just the answer I need.

  • Sheila Forsberg

    Day 2 – adding this to the rest off my workout schedule just for fun

  • David Faraci

    There should be rest days in here!

    • Tuck

      Take a 4-day break at the end of the 31 days and then start the plan over.

  • Marc Ries

    How do you come up with 420 reps during the course of the month? It looks to me like 775 reps of each over the month for a total of 2325 reps

    • Paul K

      On the last day you will be doing 420.

  • Cristaldevonne

    I want in! I have to double up today though and add crunches in there

  • Kathryn Hale

    I was always told to wait 24 – 48 hours before you work the same part of your body. Example: abs on Mon., quads on Tues., biceps on Wed. ect., ect.

    • ateppo

      Generally if you are doing weight training and lifting to failure then you should probably take a day or two off between workouts but for something like this I think your body should be able to recover sufficiently.

  • Jim Weldon

    started today

  • Nadia

    What about substitutes for a plunge? I have a bad knee and it hurts just to even try.

    • I give up earning a living at shopritte and at this point I am generating 75 dollars -97 dollars p/hour. How? I am only working on the internet! My job did not make me satisfied as a consequence I chosen to take an opportunity on something new…after 4 years it wasn’t simple to drop out my day job however right now I couldn’t be more joyful.>>> S.ID/1dR

    • PALADIN

      I would like to know as well for the same reason ?

      Do these guys on this site communicate with us? The people who do the site deserve crrdit and we would like to be able to ask questions.

    • Tim

      I have my clients do an isometric wall sit instead of lunges. No range of motion or joint wear is occurring at the knee, but the quads, glutes, hams and many synergist muscles are working. To make it less boring and burn more calories, do some dumbbell bicep curls while your in that position, shoulder laterals, back rows, over head tricep extensions and bench presses on a 45 degree angle. Hold the wall sit till the quads start burning, watch the clock and try to beat your time every workout.
      Tim

      • Ellen Cantarow

        OK, I’m the person who said I’m in my 70s and can no longer do full squats because of my degenerative arthritis – don’t want to cause any fractures or knee injuries inadvertently (a trainer at my old gym had me doing extreme squats and it hurt my left knee, and I’ve NEVER in my life had a knee injury or any knee problems!

        • Renee Risdon

          Hi Ellen,
          Have you tried water aerobics it is great and no impact on your body.

  • John West

    Mr. Bonvechio, Please reply to the comments.

  • Good! I will join! Those are my fav workouts! Lol

  • Laura As Ge Emm

    I’m in!

  • Ellen Stewart

    Shouldn’t there be some sort of rest and muscle recovery on opposing days. If I work out every day, I try to target different muscle areas. The 31 day plan sounds good, but I don’t think it’s a healthy plan.

    • I agree. I would do arms one day, adding some type of pull up, and then the two leg exercises on the next day and repeat that order so you are exercising every day but not working the same muscles every day. And as some people suggested, adding planks or sit-ups to each of the days so that you are doing three or four exercises a each day but alternating between upper and lower body on different days. That seems safer and healthier.

  • Mzgwen

    I know right. I was looking for the join option too.

  • Beachbumpkin

    I’m in! Will add crunches too

  • Chasity Wilson

    Just started today! May also add in crunches. Planning to do each morning before I go to the gym!

  • robinbishop34

    Add planks and crunches (properly done) and this is a good primer for a beginning 5×5 weightlifting routine.

  • No thank you. No rest days for the body to recover. No variations or warnings of risk for people not in tip-top shape. No encouragement for people not in tip-top shape who would benefit the most. Disappointed that this is from MyFitnessPal.

    • robinbishop34

      There is not really anything to recover from.

    • epickett

      You don’t need to be in ‘tip-top’ shape to do 10 pushups in a day… Besides, nobody said you had to do them all at ONCE… 🙂

  • Victoria Kosko

    Darn it, I’m going to give this a try starting on Monday. A former runner, I’ve added stress weight (and doing no exercising at all) over the last 2 months while my husband had cancer treatments. He’s on the mend, and it’s time to do something for ME. I will print out the calendar and, as the ad says, JUST DO IT. 🙂 thanks!

  • Rangerjd

    If you added a pulling exercise, such as pull ups or inverted rows, then it would be a true full body work out. If you do all pushing and no pulling them you’re just looking for muscular imbalances in your body. Most people love working their chest because they can see it and forget the back, in our world of constant sitting and stooped shoulders the last thing you want to do is not train your back. Other than that, not a bad 31 day body weight plan. I wouldn’t do this for more than 31 days without adding in some rest days or you’ll be looking at burnout.

    • Tuck

      I completed the 31-day plan and took a 4-day break before starting the plan over. I added AbShaper crunches.

  • What if you can’t do 10 pushups? Will you make a workout plan for those of us who aren’t so nimble?

    • Knees down? Elevated upper body?

    • You can actually start with wall push ups if you need to. As you get stronger, use a table that is a little lower, then a step, then floor push ups on your knees. Gradually work your way down to a complete floor push up. That is what I am doing now.

      Also, there are pull ins rather than pull ups using a door knob while your feet are on the floor. I can’t do real pull ups or chin ups. But I still do a pulling motion to work those muscles – the biceps.

      • Those are great ideas. Thanks, Karen.

        • robinbishop34

          Do them from your knees. Put knees together and cross your ankles. Put hands facing forward parallel to your upper/mid chest. Bend elbows at about 30 degree angle from your body.

  • BrianJH

    I love the part where you just get off your butt, stop texting, and begin. To qualify, you must be able count to 40 reps and 31 day (but not at the same time). Caution– the sets will be difficult while on Twitter (especially at the bottom of the push-up). Please refrain from selfies at the bottom of the squat as your expression will be repulsive. No need to be concerned about participation trophies as nobody gets a trophy.

  • Jeff M

    I have had 6 back surgeries includine hernia and then a fusion of L5/S1 then broke my back in a fall at T12 and had a kyphoplasty done to fix it. I started back at the gym the beginning of the year and the trainer has me doing similar things to these exercises to strengthen my core. Instead of lunging, I am stepping up on a step, instead of squatting, I am sitting on a stool and standing up like a reverse squat and the push ups, I am doing them on an angle. I do 3 sets of 15 reps of each along with other exercises and feel it is helping me strengthen my core. Should I be trying to do these exercises as well or change to them since it has been 5 months of doing the same routine?

    • Peter A Hazlet

      If you’re still in PT ask your therapist. Can you get off the floor without help? I stand close to a counter or chair for balance for the lunges.

      • Jeff M

        I am long past PT…just on my own at the gym…got a program from a trainer at the gym to follow to strengthen my core and lose weight so it helps my back issues. L4/L5 is compromised due to the fusion at L5/S1 and most of my body has issues…probably easier to say what is not injured at some point in time. I can get off the floor without help but need to roll onto side and all fours then work my way up. Bending is a concern due to lower back issues. Also have bad left knee & right hip (from being broadsided on my bicycle by a truck). The list goes on and on…lol. So I do what I can. Doctor gave limit of lifting no more than 20# of weight for life. I am a mess.

        • Peter A Hazlet

          You can try it. Check with your doctor, too. Instead of squats & lunges you might try walking. You could also probably try standing in front of a chair, sit, then stand again. Do that about 10 times and add one each day.

          • Jeff M

            That is basically what i am doing with a stool at the gym, sitting, stand-up the n repeating. Just add I step up I the shorter stool instead of lunges… works better for my back and body issues. It is helping too strengthen my core for sure. Thanks.

  • Neti Barot Vora

    Can one do it in sets when the number starts to climb or do you suggest doing all in the same stretch and then move to next type?

    • Tuck

      I do all in the same stretch. I don’t like prolonging the agony if I don’t have to.

  • jayhawk33

    Can someone tell me how to print something off this website without the “over print” issue?

    • Pennyspy

      Do you have the snipping tool? That might make it easier if you just want the schedule.

    • davedave12

      see Heidi comment 16 days ago – easy to save and print vvvv

  • nancyseaboltnash

    On the lunges, do you 10 reps for each leg, or is it 10 total?

    • Tuck

      I figured doing 10 per leg would be better than 5. It also increases by 1 each day on each leg.

  • JMoney

    Let’s say I can do 15 pushups right now. What makes you think by day 6 I can do 16. And then, with no rest, do 17 the following day. Unless we are talking about splitting them up over multiple sets this just doesn’t make sense. You won’t be seeing strength gains for exta reps overnight and with no rest days in between.

    • davedave12

      just try — the energy you save by not complaining will help you

  • John Smith

    For the lunges, is it 10 per leg or 10 Total?

    • Tuck

      I’m doing 10 per leg.

    • davedave12

      it is always the harder/more option

  • Yves Grandmaison

    It’s possible to import this workout plan into a personal calendar, a ICS file is available?

    • davedave12

      yes – print and tape to wall

  • Logan

    Any suggestions for after the 31 days is completed?

    • Tuck

      When I finish the plan as printed, I’ll just start over at day 1. I might add something to change my keg into a 6-pack over time.

  • Mary Beth Hale

    Is it okay to do this along with my regular gym routine? Just don’t want to overdo it if this would be too much or effect recovery days since this is an everyday thing

  • Norman Miller

    What’s next after the last day of the challenge? Do i keep going?

    • Tuck

      It’s not really a challenge, but rather a plan. When I finish the plan as printed, I’ll just start over at day 1, which should, by then, be a lot easier. I might add something to change my keg into a 6-pack over time.

  • Laura

    I love plans like this, however, I am unable to print this plan so that I can post it on the frig. Do you have a printable version of your plan available?

    • Katrina Fuller

      right click, save, print

    • davedave12

      see Heidi comment 16 days ago – easy to save and print

  • Stacey

    And this is why people are too dependent on technology, they can’t use a simple calendar to track their days and reps. Why does everything have to be on our device?

  • Joanyg

    I am in. Already thinking beyond this challenge. I took this as an opportunity to get myself off the couch and get started on something. Can someone recommend a plan/guide on what to do beyond this challenge.

    • Tuck

      It’s not really a challenge, but rather a plan. When I finish the plan as printed, I’ll just start over at day 1. I might add something to change my keg into a 6-pack over time.

  • Tuck

    I’m nearly 70 years OLD. The only part that I can effectively do is the squat. My sense of balance isn’t as good as in my earlier years, which I found out the first day I did the lunges. So, I use a rail to help maintain my balance. I can’t go all the way down on the lunge, but I do what I can. Anything is better than nothing. Right? And because I’m so out of shape, I can’t do the first pushup from the floor. In my earlier years, I could do 25-30 with no problem. So, I lean against a bunkbed ladder and do the “push aways”. I just completed day 7. It’s beginning to be a struggle but I’ll stick with it. So, what to do after day 31 is completed? I’ll just start over and try not to use the rail or ladder. If that proves not to be a good idea, I’ll just go back to using the rail and ladder. At this point, I’m confident that my strength and balance will improve to the point that I won’t need them. We’ll see.

    • Tuck

      Today I was up to 34. The lunges are getting more and more difficult as are the “push-aways”. I really struggled to do the last 5 “push-aways” today. I’ll be glad when day 31 gets here; I’ll have a 4-day break to recupe! Then I’ll start over but add some Ab-Lounger crunches. I’ll try to do the push-ups from the floor and the lunges without aid of the rail. We’ll see.

      • Tuck

        My first 31-day plan has passed as has the 4-day break. Today was day 6 of my 2nd 31-day plan, or 15 reps. On day 1 I added AbShaper crunches and I’ve dropped down 1 rung on the ladder. Still have to use the rail for the lunges because of the balance deficit.

  • Rona George

    This should come with a health warning – seriously. I thought I was reasonably fit (I do yoga and pilates and try and average 10000 steps a day), but have pulled a muscle in my back after 2 days of these exercises. I now have trouble getting out of bed and walking up and down stairs. Don’t know how long it will take to get better. Also being on a diet without exercise, makes weight loss even more difficult

  • John

    Can you turn the 31 day plan into a screen saver?

  • davedave12

    i work out 3 days a week but have no daily routine — this is great for just out of bed, everyday, don’t want to think about it

  • Shemeka Gordon

    How can I print the calendar out? It is not open up in any other form.

  • I did it! I finished day 31 last Friday. This was a great way to “jump start” my exercise routine. I feel like the strength and endurance in my core muscles have gotten a real boost. I’m switching back into other exercises and they already feel much easier.

  • Deena

    Hi, I’m new here, first post… In the past 4 months I was very sick and was unable to eat much if anything at all so I lost about 20 lbs. Right now I weigh 104 and am 5’3″ which is fantastic! I am super happy, however, with the weight loss, came extra, saggy skin around my stomach that I HATE and want it gone. I cannot do aerobic activity right now but I have been doing squats, leg lifts and crunch/twists. I know I need resistance training. I can feel the abdominal muscle on my stomach but this saggy extra skin must go!! Any suggestions? Oh and I can eat again too, just a few limitations. Thanks to anyone who can help out!

  • ron bates

    discovered through the Heart and Stroke Foundation Fitness testing and analysis my life span fits family history to 88.5years but I need to eliminate the bad habits and restore weight loss and abs/no tummy fat and reduce waist at least four sizes / under way/

  • Rachelle M Triay

    Are you counting one lunge as a set of one per leg OR just one lunge?

  • Robyn Wood

    So on day 13 and I have a question. On day 1, I thought 10 push-ups was hard, but then I did 11 the next day. Day 2 I thought 11 push-ups was hard , but then I did 12 the next day. Each day the last one I did, was the last one I could do until now. I am not able to get past 20 in a row without a break and my form is not very good at the end. What should I do? I am doing strait leg push-ups with my hands on a 6 inch step. The floor is much harder.

  • Greig Brown

    Day 31 done 775 reps of each exercise over the 31 days….going to keep going for another 5 days and take my total up to 1,000.
    Now my real challenge starts….what’s next?

  • Ellen Cantarow

    I’m in my 70s and in pretty good shape. I’ve weight-lifted and swum laps all my adult life. But I’ve never been able to master more than push-ups using knees. Also: I have degenerative arthritis, so I don’t want to push the squats. At the moment I’m doing half-squats whereas, when I was younger, I could do 50 full squats. Thoughts, anyone?

  • Jordi Margalef

    I wonder if it has been said already but some sync with UA Record, MFP or any other would be great.
    It’s also likely that at least some of us use some sort of wearable fitness tracker/smartwatch.
    🙂

  • siddharth sharma

    hi, this is is great plan to restart workouts … just wanted to know 10 lunges means 5 each leg or 10 each leg !!

    • Greig Brown

      I do 10 each leg

  • Greig Brown

    So I’ve finished day 31. Now I start again…lunges with dumb-bell, single leg (pistol squats), diamond press ups….the same but the next level up

  • Mike Schmidt

    Finished my 40 rep sets yesterday. Although I was reasonably confident I would be able to work up to 40 on the lunges and squats, I was dubious on the pushups. However, it went fine. I followed the guidance doing it every day, except when I was on a week long vacation I did it every other day. Not sure what to do next, looking for suggestions. Looks like some are making these exercises harder and starting over, we’ll see I’d like to mix it up a little. I like how this program was pretty straightforward with a simple progression.

    • Greig Brown

      I’ve now started the 5bx program. Again very simple. 11 mins max in total…touch toes, crunch, back raise, press up, running on spot, I’ve also added in 1 chin up & 1 pull up also. Google 5bx see for yourself

  • Chris Stuart

    It looks like a nice plan, But…. my Women’s rugby team did a similar challenge (to raise funds for the kids hospital clowns!) day 1, 1 squat 1 push up 1 sit up, day 2 2,2,2, day 3 3,3,3 etc.
    Some girls got to 100 days (I crashed at 63, a fews years older as coach 😉
    But a great WO to do in groups, spurs you on more!!