Push-Up Progression & Tips

Having trouble with push-ups? Here are some tips to help beginners get to advanced push-ups while developing the chest.

Optional Equipment: Push-up Bars

Progression #1:

If you can’t do any push-ups, or only a couple, I recommend you start with progression #1.

For this progression, you are going to do the following:

  1. Lay flat on the ground with your hands at your side.
  2. Place your hands up at your chest level with palms on the ground.
  3. Press off the floor to raise your chest to arms length. Keep your knees on the ground the entire time.
  4. Slowly return to the ground so that your chest is flat on the floor.

Repeat this push-up exercise until failure. Overtime you will get a stronger chest, back, and shoulders to help you move to progression #2.

Progression #2:

Similar to the first progression, but this time do it from your feet, not your knees.

  1. Lay flat on the ground with your hands at your side.
  2. Place your hands up at your chest level with palms on the ground.
  3. Press off the floor to raise your chest to arms length. Keep your toes on the ground the entire time.
  4. Slowly return to the ground so that your chest is flat on the floor.

Repeat until failure. Overtime you will get a stronger chest, back, and shoulders to help you move to progression #3. Again this is very similar to Progression #1, but you are using your toes, not your knees for support.

Progression #3:

This progression is an actual push-up. Here is where you can train to do a push-up with good form, and begin mastering the push-up and trying harder variations as you go on. Here is how-to do a push-up video.

  1. Start in your standard plank position, but from your hands with palms face down on the floor.
  2. Lower your body so that your chest is about an inch off the ground.
  3. Return to starting position by pressing with your hands off the floor until your arms are fully extended.

Just like the other progressions, repeat this exercise until failure for best results. Once you feel comfortable here, move on to my advanced push-up variations below.

Advanced Push-up Variations:

Eccentric Push-ups

The first advanced version of push-ups is the eccentric push-up. Eccentric push-ups are where you lower yourself in a 3-second count to the ground, then do a quick push back to the starting position (about 1 second).

5 Second Count Push-ups | Hardest Push-up Exercise Variation

This is one of the hardest versions for a push-up exercise. 5 Second count push-ups are where you count 5 seconds while lowering your body to the floor, and then 5 seconds back to start. This requires the most strength and promotes muscle endurance. Do these for maximum size and strength.

Note: You will do far less push-ups than doing any of the other versions.

Leg-raised Push-ups

As it sounds, this exercise is just a small variation, but enough to change the way you do a push-up as it requires a bit more balance. This forces some other muscles to work harder.

All you do here is a standard push-up, but raise the right or left leg into the air. I recommend alternating after 5-10 reps, but it is up to you.

Well that’s the progression and advanced tips! I hop you enjoyed my push-up workout variations! If you are completely new to push-ups, let me know how the progression goes by leaving a comment below.