4 Ways to Work Up to a Push-Up

Jessica Smith
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.

About the Author

Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith

As someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami. She now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit walkonwalkstrong.com to learn more about her fun, results-driven programs for all levels of exercisers.


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