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Simple Pushups And Situps Workout Plan To Build Strength
Fitness, Home Fitness

Simple Pushups And Situps Workout Plan To Build Strength

June 11, 2021

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Push-ups and sit ups are two foundational bodyweight exercise that everyone can benefit from doing.

These two exercises are a staple of any good workout plan because they’re easy to learn, incredibly effective, and can be done from just about anywhere (a great gym alternative!). In addition to building upper body strength, size, and power, the pushup can be done with many effective variations that come with a ton of great benefits.

That said, in order to perform some of the more advanced styles of push-ups, you need to first be comfortable doing traditional pushups from your feet. To do this, you have to already be able to lift your bodyweight off the ground.

Fortunately, if you’re not quite there yet, there are several push-up progressions that you can do to build strength and conditioning before trying the three pushup and sit up workouts we’ve shared below.

If you are looking to get in shape or tone out your body, then try our home workout app. We connect you with a fitness trainer to give you a personalized plan, 1-on-1 training, and feedback. Sign up for a free trial today.

Push-Ups Progressions To Build Strength

If you aren’t already comfortable doing traditional push ups with your feet on the ground, start by moving through these three progressions. Each push up variation will help you improve the movement, build strength, and ultimately reach the goal of easily doing traditional pushups.

Each of these progressions helps to lighten the load needed to actually push throughout the movement. If you’re brand new to pushup workouts, start with wall pushups. If you have a small or medium amount of experience, I recommend starting with the assisted pushup progressions then finally moving into the pause and tempo variation.

Let’s get into it!

1. Wall Push-Ups

The first pushup progression is a wall pushup. Wall pushups make the exercise significantly easier while still training the muscles and movement needed for a traditional pushup. The mechanics of the wall pushup are similar, however, the load of the movement is much less.

Stand an arm’s distance away from a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward and place your hands on the wall. This is the starting position. Next, bend your elbows, bring your chest to the wall, and then bring it back to the starting position.

As you become more comfortable with this style of pushup training, you can slowly increase the difficulty of the wall pushup.

  • Lift one leg off the floor: The deceased’s stability helps train your core and upper body to remain stable and strong.
  • Plyo push-up: As you press back toward the top of the movement, see if you can accelerate fast enough to pull your hands from the wall or even clap your hands. This added challenge increases both strength and power.

2. Assisted Push-Ups

The second push-up progression exercise is a single or double-knee assisted pushup. To perform this exercise, start in a traditional push-up position with both hands shoulder-width apart. Instead of keeping your feet on the ground, place either one or both knees on the ground.

  • Double Knee: Perfect for beginners. This exercise style is the lightest load and is a great place to start building fitness.
  • Single Knee: A slightly more advanced option, great for people who have more exercise experience. Make sure to keep your hips parallel to the ground.

The value of the assisted pushup exercise is that it helps lighten the load needed to be pushed. In addition, because the knees are used to base your lower body, there’s less force on your upper body. This helps accumulate more repetitions and experience as you build strength and conditioning.

3. Pause and Tempo Push-Ups

Lastly, pause and tempo push-ups will help build comfortability with the movement. This variation stems from the push-up variation being performing, either single or double knee assisted, and will increase or decrease the speech at which you complete the movement.

  • Tempo pushups: Adjusting the lowering and pressing portion of the pushup. For example, you could make the lowering portion of the movement more challenging by performing it over 5 seconds. Similarly, increasing the speed on the pressing portion creates a different challenge on the shoulders and chest. By making your muscle work for a longer period of time, you’re increasing what’s known as “time under tension.” Oftentimes, the longer your muscles are under tension, the more growth they’ll experience.
  • Paused pushups: This variation involves stopping the movement as a specific movement and holding it for a period of time. For example, once you reach the bottom of the pushup, pause for 10 seconds, then return to the top of the position. This would be one repetition.

Pushups and Sit ups Sample Workouts

Now that you’ve developed a strong base, progressing from wall pushups, to assisted pushups, then to pause and tempo pushups, you’re ready to try one of the sample workouts we’ve put together for you. These workouts are quick, effective, and great for improving your pushup and situp power!

Before we get started, one quick note: While the pushup is a great upper-body exercise, doing it incorrectly can make them much less effective. Or, worse yet, lead to injury. Before you start any workout, it’s important to understand that proper form is essential. Without proper form, you’re setting yourself up for lackluster results and a possible injury.

When performing any pushup movement, try to keep your arms shoulder-width apart and your lower back flat. Optimal pushup form incorporates an engaged core so that your hips don’t sag and your back isn’t arched. Now, let’s get into workout plans for you to build a stronger core and upper body.

Sample Workout #1

These two foundational exercises make up a large portion of the fitness tests in the military. In order to pass physical fitness exams, candidates aiming to join the military are required to perform a certain number of reps for each exercise in two minutes. Although you may not be looking to join the military anytime soon, this pushup and sit up workout is quick, effective, and a great workout!

Let’s get down to business…

Warmup:

Start off the workout with a few exercises to get your body warm and the blood flowing.

  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 pushups
  • Light shoulder, chest, and tricep stretching

The Workout:

Two rounds, back-to-back of:
  1. One minute of pushups
  2. One minute of sit ups

Rest for one minute.

Three rounds, back-to-back of:
  1. 30 seconds of pushups
  2. 30 seconds of sit ups

Rest for one minute.

Four rounds, back-to-back of:
  1. 15 seconds of push-ups
  2. 15 seconds of sit ups

This workout is quick and efficient. The goal of this training style is to fatigue your muscles while building strength and fitness. When doing the pushups, keep your hands shoulder-width apart and try to perform each rep as fast as possible while still maintaining good form.

Sample Workout #2

Another simple yet effective workout comprised of pushups, pullups, and situps is coined the 15/15/5 workout. This workout is comprised of four rounds of 15 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, and 5 pull-ups. The goal is to complete the 15/15/5 workout twice per week, with at least one day of rest between each training session. As you become more comfortable with the 15/15/5 format, you can slowly increase the repetitions, making it 20/20/5.

A sample 4-week workout progression might look like this:

Week 1:

Tuesday: 15/15/5 workout

Thursday: 15/15/5 workout

Week 2:

Tuesday: 15/15/5 workout

Thursday: 15/15/5 workout

Week 3:

Tuesday: 20/20/5 workout

Thursday: 20/20/5 workout

Week 4:

Tuesday: 20/20/5 workout

Thursday: 20/20/5 workout

Sample Workout #3

The last sample workout is known as a superset, a series of back-to-back exercises performed with no rest in between. Try to repeat this circuit of exercises 5-10 times, depending on your strength and fitness.

  1. Regular pushups: 10 reps
  2. Regular situps: 10 reps
  3. Wide pushups: 10 reps
  4. Reverse crunches: 10 reps
  5. Tricep/Triangle pushups: 10 reps
  6. Regular situps: 10 reps

If you do this circuit five times, you’ll complete 300 repetitions, 150 pushups and 150 sit ups. Your abs will be on fire, and your chest will be throbbing. Not only does this work multiple muscle groups, but it also builds endurance and targets each muscle group with varying movements. It’s great for improving your strength, muscle size and working your triceps more directly.

Final Thoughts

And that’s pretty much it! Pushups and sit ups are some of the simplest, most effective exercises you can do to improve your health, fitness, and strength. Based on your individual fitness level, start by working through the three pushup progression exercises until your comfortable performing a traditional pushup from your feet.

Once you hone your pushup form, give one of the three killer workouts a try. They’re all quick, easy, and incredibly effective. Developed over years of training and practice, each of these workouts will help build endurance, improve your strength, and increase your physical fitness. You really can’t go wrong with time-tested exercises like pushups and sit ups!

Written by: Devin Arrigo
Devin Arrigo is a marathon runner, triathlete, online writer & self-development addict. He’s on a mission to help millions of people get healthy and feel better!

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