Why your pushups aren’t getting better

You’ve been doing pushups forever but you still have to do them on your knees (boo), elevate your hands, can’t get all the way down or you loose plank position on the way up. What’s the deal?

The pushup is just like any other exercise, to get better you have to practice them, alot!

How do you progress them??

If you are doing them on your knees, you are wasting your time because you aren’t putting enough of your body weight into the arms and typically the arms are at the wrong angle.

If you cannot do a forearm plank or a high plank start there, a pushup is a moving plank.


Pushup position:

  • Spine Neutral including neck
  • Hands slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Arms vertical when up
  • Hips level with shoulders
  • Elbows pointed back about 45 degrees at top angled almost straight back at bottom
  • Feet should be hip width apart, wider makes it easier (cheating)
  • You must be on the balls of your feet
  • Push UP not back!

When doing a pushup your entire body moves as a unit. You bend the elbows and move from your toes not your knees, hips or back.

The pushup is a whole body exercise, you must be tight in the core and glutes, as I mentioned above a pushup is a moving plank so stay tight. Plus the harder you squeeze all your muscles the stronger you are.

Testing the Waters.

If you are struggling with the pushup we need to figure out where you need to start.



Bad Pushup form – head not neutral low back arched

Pushups on the wall

Elevate your hands by placing them on something sturdy that won’t slide. If you’re really weak start by placing your hands on the wall, move your feet out from the wall and come up on the balls of your feet. The hands should be chest level, slightly wider than the shoulders. Bend your elbows to bring your face and chest towards the wall and maintain a good plank position. Keep the elbows pointed behind and down not out to the sides. Push back with your arms keeping the plank position.

Pushups from a chair

Use a sturdy chair placed against a wall something else about that height that is strong enough to support you and can’t slide and do a pushup. The setup is the same as above, hands shoulder width apart, chest level. Elbows pointed back and you are on the balls of your feet. As always, maintain a good plank position

If you were successful, go lower still. If not then you’ll need to a bit higher. The goal is to find the place that allows you to do a perfect pushup.



Bad pushup – head up, hip too low, back arched. Her hands are in the right place

Once you’ve determined how much elevation you need to do a perfect pushup it’s time to work on increasing the number of perfect reps you can do. 

So do as many as you can keeping perfect form. If your hands are elevated and you can do more than 10 with perfect form you need to go a little lower.

Every day add 1 more rep. When you can do 15 – 20 perfect pushups yo should be able to go lower. Start all over again by doing as many perfect pushups as you can from the new position and add 1 rep per day.

If you keep this up, you should be able to do them with your hands on the floor within a few months. 

If you find that you do less reps than usual take a day off between practice sessions.


Perfect pushup


WOD Preview

WOD 060816

If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be and why?

Warm-Up 4

3 sets:
10 OH Squats
1 minute DU practice


Kipping HSPU Progression


10 Power Snatch (empty bar)

8, 6, 4 Power Snatch (build to weight used for workout)

Metcon (3 Rounds for reps)

Three sets (12 minutes) of:
30 seconds of Dynamic Push-Ups
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Pull-Ups
Rest 30 seconds
30 seconds of Plank
Rest 90 seconds

Metcon (AMRAP - Rounds and Reps)

Complete as many rounds and reps for 15 minutes of:
Run 400 Meters
25 Push-Ups
15 Pull-Ups

Cut Season Cash Out

50 GHD Sit Ups

Out of Town WOD

1 mile run, for time



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