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Pull-up / push ups guide and progression plan

Pull-up / push ups guide and progression plan

Don’t be intimidated by push ups and pull ups.  Our back-to-basics workout will start you slow and build your volume over 21 days. You won’t be bored – we’ve included some variations – but you will be amazed at how quickly your strength builds. 

HOW DO I START?

First, what’s your current push up/pull up ability? If you can’t do full-blown push ups or pull ups yet we’ve included some adaptations so you can complete the plan. Stick with it for 21 days and you’ll gain enough strength to do the complete moves.

THE 21-DAY PLAN

It’s very simple. Day 1 you start with 10 push ups and 10 pull ups. Add one rep each day until after 21 days you are doing 30 reps. So day 1 – 10 reps, day 2 – 11 reps, day 3 – 12 reps. You get the picture.

If you can’t manage all the reps in a single set we shan’t set the fitness police on you. You’re allowed to stop and rest, then perform another few reps.

The key is to maintain perfect form. If this requires multiple sets, no problem!

WHAT’S PERFECT FORM IN A PUSH UP AND PULL UP?

Great question. You will gain strength much faster if you maintain perfect form. First remind yourself how to perform a pull up and push up.  Then stick to the basic rules below and you won’t go far wrong.

Push ups: Hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Body in a straight line. Elbows tucked in as you lower. Chest touches the floor. Elbows tucked in as you come back up.

Pull ups: Hold the bar shoulder-width apart. Pull up by pulling your elbows down to your sides. No kicking, swinging or jumping! Pull up until your chin passes the bar. Lower down slowly. Shout “Nailed it!” and pump your fist triumphantly!

I CAN’T DO A SINGLE PUSH UP / PULL UP. WHAT VARIATIONS ARE THERE?

Resistance bands are your best friend here. Spend the first few days of the plan doing the following exercises:

Band pull-aparts:Hold a resistance band at chest height and arm’s length. Pull the band towards your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Release and repeat.

Triceps push-downs: Wrap a resistance band around a pull up bar. Grasp the band with a thumbs-up grip. Pull down until your hands are by your hips, keeping elbows tucked in. Return to starting position and repeat.

Photo by Sam Owoyemi on Unsplash

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

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