Working your way up to a floor Pushup

Pushups are one of my favorite exercises.  They work many muscle groups and have lots of variations.  My claim to fame right now is having the gals in the gym do a full blown – dare i say “man”  – pushup: on the floor & on their toes.  It takes a bit of effort but is very empowering when you achieve the ultimate goal.

Personally I’ve had little success progressing clients from their knees to their toes — there’s just too much difference in the body alignment.  The answer I found, is to use the same body position (straight line from head to toe) and progressively decrease the incline.

Phase 1: Start by executing pushups against the wall.


  • Stand approximately 2 feet away from the wall, keep your feet together and stand on your tip toes.  Standing with your feet farther apart will make the move easier.

  • Place your hands flat on the wall. Your arms should be straight, extended at shoulder level and slightly more than shoulder width apart from each other.
  • Lean towards the wall until your nose is almost touching the wall.  Ensure that your body is in a straight line from your head to your toe.  Take caution not to drop the head.

  • Return to your starting position slowly.  Once you can do 20-25 on tiptoes with feet together proceed to Phase 2.

BREATHING:  Exhale on the way down, pause for a second, inhale at the bottom of the movement and exhale as you push your body back to starting position.

Phase 2:  Lower the incline – perform pushups on a bar or counter top that’s about hip height.  After you can execute 20 consecutive pushups,  you’re ready to move to the next phase.

Phase 3: Reduce the incline again and execute the pushups on the bench at knee height.  After 20-25 consecutive pushups, start doing them on the floor.

Phase 4:  Expect do to 5-7 floor pushups at the first attempt.

Good luck and let me know how you progress.  Challenge yourself, I have young gals and ladies in their 50s executing floor pushups.