A Guide to Pushup Progression

A Guide to Pushup Progression

Authored by Marshall on July 15, 2022

On the lookout for a pushup workout plan? Good news—you found one! From beginners to experts, follow our guide to pushup progressions and crush your goals with your friends at Jack City Fitness.

A Guide to Your Pushup Progression

Want to become a pushup master? You can—but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same idea applies to your pushup workout. While your goals may include more advanced moves like one-armed pushups, you must train your way up. We call this a pushup progression.

For most athletes, a pushup progression plan involves performing several modified versions of the workout and upper body training to perfect your movements. These modified versions, or variations, are essential steps in a beginner pushup routine; they help you naturally progress into the classic move. 

If you are new to the world of pushups, we are very excited to welcome you! In fact, we suggest first-timers craft a pushup progression plan alongside an athletic coach or trainer. They will be able to ensure that your form is correct and can help you select the proper rep counts, techniques, and variations for your unique circumstances. 

In the meantime, get started by reading our basic pushup workout for beginners.   At Jack City Fitness, we take your goals seriously—and we are ready to help you every step of the way!

Who Is a Pushup Progression Plan For?

We doubt many people can just drop to the floor and master a pushup without some practice. That’s why we say our pushup training plan is for everyone who wants to achieve it. 

Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • You’ve tried to do pushups before, but struggle to maintain the form
  • You’ve always wanted to pushups, but are worried they are too hard
  • You’re keen to improve your upper body strength, but don’t know where to begin
  • You’d like to learn several variations of pushups
  • You want to work your way up to a more advanced workout, like a decline or one-armed pushup

…if so, then our pushup progression plan is probably right for you! 

Why Should I Try a Pushup Training Plan?

By following a pushup training plan, you are investing in a better version of your workout. The time you spend working your way through the successive steps of this workout will help you perform a pushup in a safer, easier way—and with correct form. 

We also believe that choosing a pushup training plan allows athletes to accomplish several “mini goals” throughout their progression. This helps make the progression easier and offers more motivation—after all, what better than a “win” to inspire you to the next level?

How To Build To a Pushup

So, how to build to a pushup? 

As we mentioned, there are several steps to our typical progressive pushup plan. While this plan works for many athletes, please remember that the specifics of your ideal routine will depend on your own athletic and physical background. This is why we always recommend working with a coach, especially when starting a new workout plan!

Here are the steps to our classic pushup progression plan:

1) Work Your Strength

Before you even begin your pushup progression journey, take some time to build strength ahead of the task, particularly in your upper body and core. Speak to your coach about the right strength training workouts for you—some of our favorites are the decline bench press, up-down plank, and chest press. These moves will help strengthen your body for the pushups you’ll soon be smashing!

2) Check Your Form

One of the biggest keys to perfect pushup is in its form. Without proper form, your pushups will be more difficult to achieve and potentially harmful to your body. While it takes plenty of time and effort to perfect your pushup form, it is achievable and will make an enormous difference to your overall performance. 

Some of the most important aspects of pushup form include:

  • A flat back
  • An engaged core
  • Controlled, precise movement
  • Aligned ankles, shoulders, and hips

3) Try a Wall Pushup

Once you’re a pro on form, it’s time to start your pushups! As a starter, we recommend the wall pushup. 

Begin by standing an arm’s length from a wall. Lean forward and bring both palms to the wall, as you would with a standing plank. On an inhale, give your elbows a bend while moving the upper part of your body towards the wall. Your feet should be flat on the floor this whole time. Hold the position for a couple of seconds, then push back to your starting position on an exhale.

Guess what—you just performed your first pushup!

push up workout plan

4) Perfect Your Seated Pushup

Now that you’ve nailed the wall pushup, you can move onto the seated version. This variety is especially great for shoulder stability!

To perform the seated pushup, begin by sitting on a workout bench with your palms face down on either side of you, and your feet on the ground. Use your arm strength to press your palms against the bench so your body rises about a half-inch above the bench. Bring yourself back down to your starting position to relax.

5) Move Towards Kneeling Pushups

You’re getting closer—it’s time to try a kneeling pushup. 

Begin by kneeling on your mat with your palms flat on the ground, below your shoulders. On an inhale and with an engaged core, lower your chest to the mat by bringing your elbows down. Hold the position before pushing up on an exhale.

6) Crush a Classic!

The moment has arrived: you’ve progressed your way all to a classic pushup. Congratulations! You’ve worked super hard and your effort is paying off. 

To perform a classic pushup, begin by laying facedown on your mat, with your palms level to your chest and bent elbows. On an exhale, use both your arms and heels to press yourself up. You will now find yourself in a plank. Keep that core engaged as you hold the pose, then bring yourself back down to the mat on an inhale.

You did it! We hope you are so proud of your hard work. Soon you’ll want to try the advanced versions of a pushup—and when you’re ready for that step, we’ll be waiting.

Try a Progressive Pushup Plan With the Pros

At Jack City Fitness, we have everything the Boise athlete needs to achieve peak athletic performance and crush all their goals. Whether you want to try a beginner pushup routine with an expert fitness coach, are looking for a group workout to stay accountable, or even want to optimize your diet with our in-house nutritional counselor, pick up the phone and call (208) 999-1111. We’ll invite you to our Boise gym for a full facility tour, plus a FREE fitness consultation on our InBody machine. Once you sign up to become a Jack City Partner, everything you need is at your fingertips. 

We can’t wait to meet you and help you smash all of your goals!



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