Let’s build up to a min plank. Start with this: 

STAGE 1:
3 rounds:
15 sec Plank
15 Sec Rest
Then Rest 1 min. Complete 3-4 sets of this daily for 1 week.

Retest. If you still struggle, try a second week but change to this:

STAGE 2:
4 rounds:
20 sec plank
10 sec Rest
Rest 1 min between rounds. Repeat for 3-4 more sets.

Retest. Still struggling? Add a third week of:

STAGE 3:
8 rounds:
20 sec plank
10 sec Rest
Rest 1 min between rounds. Repeat for 3 more sets.

You can stay at any stage for up to 2 weeks if necessary. Most people will not find this progression terribly challenging.

Step 2:

PUSH UPS:

Master the Push Up, strict, from the toes, perfect form, no rush. How to get there?

See this:

Step 3:

PRACTICE

Below are some simple workouts you can try at home. These are meant to help progress your push ups. Focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY. (WARNING: Workouts #4 and #5 are not for the feint of heart!)
 

 

Workout #1:

10 min EMOM:
3-7 Push Ups

I got most of these from Rob MacDonald, Training Director at Gym Jones. This one is a great place to start. Every minute on the minute do a set of PERFECT Push Ups. No rush, no pressure. If you struggle with push ups just try to get three good ones then rest the remainder of the min. As you progress you may add reps but DON’T RUSH! Focus on form.

Workout #2:

3x(1-?) Push Up Ladder
Do one push up. Stand up and walk to the other side of the room and touch the wall. Walk back to where you started. Now do 2 push ups. Walk down and back. 3 push ups then down and back… Continue to climb the ladder until you struggle to keep good form.

Then start over at 1 push up, then 2 and so on, back up the ladder. Try to hit the same fail point but when form breaks stop and start over.

The walk provides a short but consistent break and a mental reset. As you progress you can add more sets but this method builds volume quickly. 3x(1-6) is 63 reps! 5x(1-4) is 50 if you want a nice round number.

Workout #3:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Push Up Ladder
Same as above but start at the top of the ladder and work down. This is 55 reps.

Workout #4:

4x:30/:30 Push Ups
30 sec work, 30 sec rest, 4 rounds. Do as many good push ups as you can the 1st round and try to stay consistent.

Want more? Take a 1 min rest after your last 30 sec of push ups then add another set! 4-5 sets is a total push up shredder!

Workout #5:

Pick a number. Do that many push ups.
I like 300. Can you get 300 in under 20 min?

Let’s find out.

That’s 15 push ups every minute for 20 minutes. See a progression from Workout #1?

There’s 5 solid workouts you can start with, at home, with no equipment that will DEFINITELY improve your strength. Simple and effective.

Next week we will take a look at another basic movement: squats. In the meantime, here’s your homework:

The 10 min Squat Test