Another Way To Work Up To Push Ups

Here’s another way to build enough strength to do a push up. All you need is a stack of books or cardboard boxes or something else you can change the height of.

See the video below for a full explanation. There is a transcript of the video at the bottom of this page in case you need it.


If you haven’t got enough books or boxes to stack up like that, don’t worry. There’s yet another way. Check out Building Up To Proper Push-Ups For Complete Beginners.

Once you can do the exercise on the floor, don’t stop at that. Keep challenging your body. Keep increasing the number of repetitions you can do.

If your goal is to increase your strength, make the exercise more difficult. Once you can do it on the floor for 15 repetitions, try the following methods to make it harder.

  • You can try doing the push ups with hexagon-shaped dumbbells in your hands. (Why hexagonal dumbbells? Because they don't roll away! :D )
  • You can rest your hands on thick books to allow your body to go lower.
  • Do it with your feet up on a bench or even on a swiss ball to make the movement more challenging.
  • Try pushing up with your hands on the swissball.
  • Wear a heavy backpack.
  • Lift one foot completely off the floor while you push your body up.

Seek All Round Muscle Improvement

Changing the width of your hands on the floor will work slightly different areas from the usual push-ups. Try ...

  • Placing your arms narrower together.
  • Placing your arms wider apart.
  • Try pushing up with your hands touching each other. Your thumbs and index fingers will make a diamond shape.
  • Try putting your hands in a staggered stance.

It’s a good idea to change your styles slightly from time to time. This will ensure all round muscle strength and fitness. It’s also more fun to try out different variations rather than just doing the same old version.

Transcript Of The Video

Pile up a few thick books or something similar.
Here I’m using cardboard boxes.
Make the pile nearly as high as your arms are long. Or whatever height you can manage, depending on your strength.
Keep your abs tight and your body straight.
Just touch the top of the pile with your chest.
Do 15 repetitions.
In the next workout (or whenever you’re ready), take one layer off the pile.
Do it until you can do 15 repetitions.
Keep lowering the pile ... until you can push up till your chest nearly touches the floor.
The pile of books is gone. Now you’ve become strong enough to do a proper Pushup. Congratulations! :-)


Return from Push Up to Weight Training Techniques page


Return to Home Weight Training For Women main page