The Perfect Push-Up Workout for Every Fitness Goal

Build incredible upper-body athleticism with only push-ups.

Looking for the perfect push-up workout regardless of what your fitness goal is? You just found it.

The push-up is one of the most traditional bodyweight exercises a person can do and also one of the most well-rounded to build upper body strength. There are also many push-up variations, which makes this exercise arguably the best bodyweight movement that you can do anytime, anywhere.

In a video, sports teacher and YouTube fitness guru Alex Lorenz talked about the perfect push-up workout. He is the co-founder of Calisthenic Movement and has trained Calisthenics since 2012, uploading videos regularly for those people interested in getting in shape using only their body weight.

Check it out.

The Perfect Push-Up Workout

Bodyweight ExercisesSource: Sam Owoyemi on Unsplash

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of varied versions of the traditional push-up which makes the exercise harder or easier and that is something to take advantage of when building the perfect push-up workout.

First, you need to specify what is your fitness goal:

  • Get stronger
  • Be more explosive
  • Be more enduring
  • Build bigger muscles

Depending on what your goal is, your perfect push-up workout will be different.

Get Stronger

If you want to get stronger doing only push-ups, you need to choose harder variations of the exercise and perform them in the lower rep range, typically between 3 and 8 reps.

One example is performing the one-arm push-up. If you are not strong enough to do it, choose an easier variation of the movement, for example, doing the one-arm push-up with one hand on a chair or couch instead of horizontally on the ground.

Be More Explosive

If you want to be more explosive, you should have some strength and endurance already in you. If you can do 15-20 regular push-ups without taking a break, then you can move on to improve your explosiveness.

What does the perfect push-up workout for explosiveness look like? As always, there is a progression you can do to improve over time.

the perfect push-up workout

Begin with hand-release push-ups because is the safest way to improve explosiveness step by step. Do 4-6 reps of explosive push-ups and do not go to failure. Improving your strength will also improve your explosiveness, so add in a few weighted push-ups, resistance band push-ups, archer push-ups and the one-arm push-up.

Be More Enduring

To build muscle endurance with push-ups you should, naturally, improve the number of push-ups you can do over time.

How to Maintain a Fitness Discipline 1 million push-upsSource: Courtesy fo Kevin Cullum

The best way to do this, Lorenz says, is by doing a CrossFit EMOM workout of regular push-ups.

That means, every minute on the minute workout. Every 60 seconds you have that time to complete a specific number of reps. The goal is to finish the reps before the minute is over and take the rest of the time to rest.

Begin with 10 sets of 10 reps each minute. If you do it right, it should get harder and harder to complete the reps with each round. You should get close to your limit or reach failure on the last set.

Since the objective is to do higher reps, choose a push-up variation or progression that you can perform for the workout. If it is too easy, increase the number of reps each round.

Build Bigger Muscles

Typically, the golden number for hypertrophy is to do 6-12 reps. However, some people respond better to lower or higher rep ranges. So, depending on the push-up variation you are doing, you can test reps of 3 to 25 for any given exercise and still be optimal for building muscle.

And how do you build the perfect push-up workout for hypertrophy? By choosing the right exercises for different muscle groups of your upper body.

  • Shoulders – pseudo planchet push-up, pike push-up, handstand push-up
  • Chest – regular push-up, ring push-up
  • Triceps – diamond push-up, sphinx push-up

Lorenz suggests adding the perfect push-up workout for building bigger muscles to your push/pull/leg training split during the push day. The other three workouts can e incorporated into your normal full-body training day.

crossfit bodyweight workouts anna hulda press upsSource: RX'd Photography

And there you have it, the perfect push-up workout regardless of what your fitness goal is. Click on the video below if you want to see Lorenz’s deeper explanation of each workout.

VIDEO – The Perfect Push-Up Workout

Check out more content from BOXROX:

Push-Up 101: The Best Guide

What Happens to your Body when you do 100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days?

How to Build a Bigger Chest at Home in 30 Days

6 Tough Chest Workouts to Build Strength, Muscle and Mass

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