Push-ups For Women: How To Start and How To Progress

I LOVE push-ups! They are one of the best total body exercises you can do and it doesn’t take on single piece of equipment. As great as they are though, the problem is that most women don’t know how to do a single push-up or possibly can’t do a push-up.

To be honest before I started my exercise career, I think I had gone 10 years without a single push-up done! So let’s visit the old P.E. days and re-introduce the push-up back to you.

Below you will watch to learn how to start off with the knee push-up and you also have the option to learn how to do a real “big girl” push-up. Aim to do as many as you can in one minute. It’s a great way to start the morning.




  • tracey

    hey I was wondering, I have heard that push ups are mad for woman to do is there any truth in this?

    • No, push ups rock, they work your chest, arms, butt and core. If you just got implants I wouldn’t suggest them but otherwise they are a great exercise for your workout.

  • Vicki

    I was wondering if you could suggest how many reps I should build up to before I do (big) girl push ups? I just started doing knee push ups today and I am 43 I havent done a push up since I was a teen,. needless to say I could only do 5 uggh. but I am not giving up! any ideas to help me increase my upper body strength along with pushups? thank you

    • Hey Vicki, great job! Just remember you gotta start somewhere! Doing 5 is better than doing none, right? With that said, you don’t have to work up to any particular rep before trying a “big girl” push-up. Each day when you do yours, start the set with trying just to do 1-push-up not on your knees. Grab a toilet paper roll and make that your goal for your chest to get to…. if you can’t do it at first no biggy, put your knees down and do as many as you can. Repeat the next day aiming to get even closer to the roll. You’ll get there! Another good trick is to just lay on the ground and trying to push-up straight from there. It takes away the lowering phase. Do 5 of these then do 5 knee pushups, the next day aim for 6 of each and continue until you’re doing 10 of each… then try out a big girl p=up!

  • Hey Vicki, you need some practice, you’ll improve with time. I still feel terrible pain in my shoulder muscles even if it’s been 2 months I am doing them. I can do now 3 x 20, soon I’ll start with “big girl” push-ups.
    So, if you can only do 5 now, to improve do the following:
    Day 1 (rest 60-70 sec between sets): 2 – 3 -2 -2 and last series max you can (at least 3)
    (day off, if your shoulder or arms hurt badly, take 2 days of rest)
    Day 2 (rest 90-100 sec between sets): 3 – 4 -3 -3 and last series max you can (at least 4)
    (day off, if your shoulder or arms hurt badly, take 2 days of rest)
    Day 3 (rest 120sec between sets): 4 -5-4 -4 and last series max you can (at least 5)
    Now rest for 2 days (or 3 if still feeling pain) and start over with day 1, but increase reps to 5 – 6 – 4 – 4 and last series max you can (at least 5) and so on…
    you’ll progress fast and 2 months you’ll be doing 3 x 15 or 3 x 20 and in another 2 months you’ll se your arms getting an awesome shape!

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