You are here

Find the Best Push-Up Modification for You

Why are push-ups always framed as a form of punishment? (Drop and give us 20!) Once you master proper push-up form, they can be a full-body exericse, working your chest, arms, shoulders, abs, and even legs. Plus, you can do 'em anywhere, making the push-up the ultimate no-excuses exercise.

But for what push-ups have in benefits, they can lack in ease. Here, Holly Rilinger, Nike Master Trainer, Flywheel Master Instructor, and creator of the BeachFit exercise program, explains the push-up variations you need to work your way up to a full push-up—and beyond.

For starters, if you can't yet do a modified push-up (with your knees on the ground), use an elevated surface, like a park bench, and work your way to a classic modified push-up. Once you've mastered the modified, keep practicing until you can progress to a traditional push-up. Really ready for a challenge? Try an elevated push-up with your feet on a chair or bench. Or do a plyo push-up and lift your entire body off the ground. Once you've found your go-to push-up modification, join our 30-Day Push-Up Challenge to take your push-up game to the next level.


Kiera Carter

Kiera Carter is the executive web editor of FITNESS and SHAPE. She's also a New York University alum, Brooklyn resident, and half marathon lover.  More →

More from Kiera
  • Chicago
  • Boston
  • New York City