4 Ways to Work Up to a Push-Up

by Jessica Smith
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4 Ways to Work Up to a Push-Up

Struggling to master a full push-up? You aren’t alone. Push-ups are a great exercise that engages almost every muscle in your body, but they aren’t exactly easy to do!

In this video, we’ll go through the four progressive modifications you can make to a push-up to ensure that you are gradually working your way up to more challenging versions at the right pace and with great form.

Here are the specific modifications we cover in the video, along with my reps/set recommendations for each to help you build proper form and functional strength:

Modification #1: Wall Push-Up

Try working up to three full sets of 15 repetitions before progressing to modification #2.

Modification #2: Incline Push-Up

Try working up to three full sets of 10-12 repetitions before progressing to modification #3.

Modification #3: Quadruped Push-Up

Try working up to three full sets of 10-12 repetitions before progressing to modification #4.

Modification #4: Bent Knee Push-Up

Once you have mastered three sets of 10-12 repetitions of the bent knee push-up, feel free to add in a few reps of full push-ups (on your toes). You can try as many full push-ups as you can do with great form, and then drop down to your knees to complete the set.

And if you still aren’t ready for push-ups even with modifications, don’t worry! You don’t have to include them in your workouts in order to get great results. Check out our floor work (and push-up free!) “Walk On: 21 Day Weight Loss Plan” DVD set for a complete exercise program designed to help you lose weight and feel great.

Did you try the modifications? Let me know in the comments below which one you are working on right now. Just remember: No matter where you are starting out, practice makes progress!

Check out our Jessica Smith library for more workouts.

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  • Shawn

    I’m going to show my mom this video she’s never done push ups and now that she’s 72 she decides this is the time LOL

  • Ashley

    I want to work my way up to doing a full bodied push-up, but am currently struggling with my work out routine to do the modified knee push-ups. I always wondered if there was an easier way to build up those muscles if I couldn’t even do a full set of knee push-ups. Modification #3 looks great and I’m going to use this to work my way into knee push-ups. Thanks for the tips.

    • jessicasmithtv

      Thanks for checking them out Ashley! Just be patient with your body and remember that practice makes progress 🙂

  • S Vale

    The adorable dog who just wants some lovin’ is the real star of this video! 🙂