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How to Do 30 Push-Ups

Try It: 30 Push-Ups

One of my goals for 2010 is to be able to do 30 push-ups — the difficult kind with your knees off the floor. Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen and tone your upper body, and as of now, I can probably do about 12 with good form, but I want to push that number to 30. Are you up for trying out this challenge along with me?

If so, you can hear the plan to make it happen when you


  • First you need to know how many regular push-ups you can do right now. So get on the floor, do as many push-ups as you can with straight legs, and write down that number in your fitness journal. Then set a goal for how many you want to be able to do. My number is 30, but yours may be 10 or 50.
  • In order to increase that number, you need to build your upper body strength every day. Choose a time when your muscles aren't tired (after a cardio kickboxing class would not be a good time), and complete as many push-ups as you can with your knees off the floor. When you start to lose form or your arms can't take it anymore, lower one or both knees to the ground and continue doing knee push-ups until you reach the number you've set as your goal.
  • Keep this up every day, and gradually, one push-up at a time, you'll be able to increase the number of straight leg push-ups until you complete the challenge.

Good luck and be sure to keep me posted on your progress.

Join The Conversation
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
So I'm trying to build up to this. I did 5 regular pushups this morning and on the 6th, I felt my form slipping, so I switched to using my knees and I made it to 30. I think I'll keep adding a regular pushup and subtracting a knee pushup. Go pushups!! I'm going to have awesome arms/shoulders by summer.
bushra bushra 7 years
count me in! i think i'm going to aim for the same targets as you, fit. i can manage 20 on my knees, but 30 with my knees off the floor sounds like a more achievable target compared to 100...!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I'm on week four of the one hundred push ups challenge. It feels good!
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
I can do pretty good pushups already - Thanks to a couple things:- (1) Life Guard training in my teens that my coach made us do push up all the time. (2) Army Training when I joined the National Guard (3) Body Pump for 2 years.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I can do 30-40 pushups easily, but I'd like to try some variations to make them a little tougher. Very cool challenge, though.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
sorry, meant knees not legs.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Does doing chatarunga help in training for pushups? I can do a few pushups using my feet, even more if I use my legs. I just may need to add this to my (growing) goals.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
no problem, kclulu ! I haven't done it myself (I started and then got sidetracked with IM training) but it's a really neat program. You really build up slowly to the 100! Good luck !
kclulu kclulu 7 years
Ooh thanks for the link runningesq! I can do pushups and push up variations but I have never tried to see how many I could do at a time. I could probably do 30 but it would be hard but 100, yowzer! I would like to be able to do 20 pull ups this year. I have been doing the modified pull up thing but I can't seem to do more than a few on my own and it annoys me.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
check this out, everyone:
syako syako 7 years
Ok, I'm totally with you on this goal, Fit! Today I will see what I can start with and then set a goal.
jkat jkat 7 years
I can do about 50...more when I am in good shape (which I am not right now). Before the holidays I was really getting into the plyo push-ups. CRAZY hard. I could only do about 8 correctly. I also like doing them with my feet on a stability ball or on the bosu (balls side down).
Initkute Initkute 7 years
I am at the beginning of my journey of getting back in shape and losing weight. One thing that I have ALWAYS struggled with are push-ups. In order to help me tone my upper body and reach my goal of actually doing many good form push-ups, I have started the One Hundred Push-up Challenge ( It's a six week challege that includes an initial test of seeing how many pushups you can do at the beginning. Then, depending on your number, you are placed into a category and then follow the routine. It honestly takes no more than ten minutes a day three days a week. You start by doing five sets of pushups and in the sixth week, do nine sets. At the end of six weeks, you should have the strength and ability to complete 100 good form pushups. Right now, I am in the middle of Week 2, using the modified version with knees, but still finding success in this program. I believe that you can really benefit from this 6 week, hundred pushup challenge. Let me know how it goes and best of luck to anyone who takes the challenge. -Kristen
Vanonymous Vanonymous 7 years
Fit, I find it helpful to do 30 push ups by doing 10, holding plank, then 8, hold plank, then 6, then 4, then 2. You're always holding that plank in between, so it really works everything but you're counting down from a smaller number so it actually seems do-able. I love push ups, but lately I've had to switch to hand weights because my right wrist has been hurting a lot. I think it might hurt from doing a lot of planks, but I'm also concerned that it might be from typing and using the mouse so much at work. Any stretching suggestions?
pamela87 pamela87 7 years
Great goal! I can already do push ups easily (prob close to 50 if my chest isn't tired from lifting), so lately I've been trying harder variations-- feet up on a step, feet on a large stability ball, etc.
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