Can't Do A Single Pushup? How To Perform A Proper Pushup In Just 3 Days For Beginners


"I can't do a single pushup", Sandy says on her first day of personal training with me.  "How often do you try?", I ask her.  "Never", she replies.  "Well there's your problem!".  Can't do a pushup?  Do you struggle to properly perform a pushup only to find you don't have the strength necessary to lift your body weight?  Here at BeFit Lifestyle, we've created a beginner's guide on how to perform a proper pushup that can have you going from zero to 5, 10, or more in under a week!


First, you should start off by doing basic "assisted" pushups, otherwise known as girlie pushups.  Using your knees on the ground redistributes some of your body weight to your knees so that you can work on proper posture.  With your hands flat on the ground, shoulder width apart, start shallow and work your way into each pushup deeper and deeper.

When you're able to do between 15 and 20 assisted pushups, perform 5 sets sporadically throughout the day.


Preparing yourself for full pushups is going to be very difficult.  On day two, you're going to focus on two different positions to practice with throughout the day.  This is the first step toward doing a "real" push-up.  Don't get frustrated if you aren't able to grasp these as quickly as the assisted push-ups from day one.  Just take a break, re-energize, and get right back to it.  Persistence wins the race-- as cliche as that sounds, it's true.

We're going to start with the starting position for a pushup.  Balancing your lower body on your toes, with your hands shoulder width apart, hold yourself all the way up for 30 seconds at a time.  You should keep the elbows slightly bent, as you don't ever want to lock out the arms while doing a static hold.  Take deep breaths, squeeze the abs, and then rest.  Repeat this exercise 5 times as needed.  This static hold helps strengthen the muscles needed for doing a proper push-up.  If you can maintain this hold for 30 seconds, you're well on your way to doing a real push-up!

Your second position that you will be attempting will be the hardest-- besides the actual push-up of course!  First, you will lower your body all the way to the ground.  You will not be propping yourself up, but you will be relaxing your stomach and putting no strain on any muscles.  Count to 5, take a deep breath, and try to push your body off of the ground and into the starting push-up position.  If you're not able to remotely lift your body up, the key is not to give up.  Even though you think you might not be succeeding, you actually are engaging the proper muscles.  So keep it up!  You think you might not be accomplishing much by laying on the ground trying to unsuccessfully push your body up, but I promise that you will only get better with practice!


Everything that you've done to prepare yourself leads up to this moment.  You've done assisted/girlie push-ups, you've strengthened your muscles from starting position, and you've started from the laying position.  Now you're ready to attempt a full push-up.

Once again, if you're not able to at first, don't feel hopeless.  Re-focus and keep trying.  If you've done everything in this guide properly, you should be able to perform at least one full push-up.  Even if you're barely able to lift your body, arms shaking, body trembling, you're still doing a push-up!

Congratulations!  Now work on adding more push-ups to your reps and in no time you'll be a push-up king!  You're living the BeFit Lifestyle!


  1. Thank you so much for this article! I have been exercising for a while now and I decided to do push ups for the very first time today. To my horror, I discovered that I couldn't do even 1 push up. Your site has given me a clue as to what I can do. Thank you so much! This information is greatly appreciated.

  2. Wow... Thanks for the information...
    I'm a fat man (about 90kgs), and I'm trying to make my chest (breast) smaller, but I cant even do 1 push up...

    I think I should give a try for this one... THanks...

  3. Hello!! Am under-weight, so I decided to try push-ups as a part of exercising... I've always tried to push-up but always failed... Today, 3 days after trying this guide, am able to do a single push-up...! Really appreciate this!!

  4. Will try this guide, thanks for posting!

  5. Is there a guide for "I can't do a single girlie push up"? joking, and now all jokes aside, motivating guide for us weaklings/fat people :> I'm on it! high five! Hopefully I will return here in 3 days and say my thanks, if not.. then consider that a promise "I'm still doing girlie push ups"

  6. Hi an update, im the guy who wrote on August 9, 2011 1:04 PM.. that day/night? just after posting i did 3-5 series of girlie push ups (45-50 girlie push ups total) I coudlnt do more and i tried as hard as i can, then for 2 days my arms were so weak i couldnt do a sngle girlie push up no matter how hard i tried, (i have calculated that one my girlie push up equals 50-67 kg (110-147lbs) of weight being lifted by my arms) now after 2-3days I tried again, I did 9 series (135 girlie push ups) as I was "researching the subject" I came across a post that simply stated "your weak arms (reffering to not being able to do a single girlie push up after the 3-5 series for 2 days) were the result of your muscles building up, you didnt use them for so long (so hard) that they had to build themselfs up when they build you will be a lot stronger" I can verify I feel a lot stronger, I'm quite sure soon (after going to phase 2 and 3) I will easily succed, I willdo an update later xd

  7. I started this today, because I truly can't do a single perfect pushup. I'll have to 10 every day, for like 5 months for school, so I'm really glad I found this!! My arms hurt like crazy and my elbow keeps popping, when I do the girlie push ups!! I've done 75 today, maybe more later!!! I really need this, so hopefully it works!!! Will update later if I can do 10 perfect pushups by at least doing this exercise twice!!!
    With love :)

  8. i disbelieve that this works, i've been trying to do the second/thrid part for over a week now -.- and i still can't do this. the assited girly push ups are one of the easyest things to do, my ratehr fat 7 year old sister can do 5-7 of them.

  9. years after u have changed my outlook on Persistence and not to mention m on a regular routine of push ups

  10. is there a guide to "can't even do a single girlie pushup?" I can't even do that.

  11. Please change the word "DAY" to "PHASE." There is no way anyone can go from not being able to do girlie pushups to being able to do real pushups in 3 days. If you have not been using your triceps, chest and shoulders, (and I think it's safe to assume you haven't been since girlie pushups are difficult) you would be so sore, it would be tough to attempt them again for a couple days. And on top of that, if you can only do a few do girlie pushups, it would take several week to build up to 15-20, then longer still to be able to do the 30 sec plank. DEFINITELY obtainable, just not in 3 days.

  12. Couch potatoes push ups:

    For the last 3 days I have been doing push ups against the wall. I stand 3 feet away from the wall to use a small portion of my body weight in the exercise, I started with 30 push ups and I repeat it 2-3 times a day, I also do stretching 30 times in each position before starting the push ups, I also do stretching every time I use the bath room, I find doing push ups on the ground to hurt a muscle in my side (same exact muscle every time, only on the right side) which prevents me from continuing doing push ups, this is for couch potatoes like me, I think it will work, when I am in a better shape (normal human fitness) I will come here and use this guide...

  13. people that are complaining about girlie push-up my god, man up i am overweight i bet i weigh more that the girls or boy that post on the website and i can do the girlie push-up they are really easy to do. the real problem is the regular push-up so please man up.

  14. This article is really helpful, however can we please stop calling modified push ups "girlie pushups"? It's really discouraging and insulting to females.

  15. You must spend a lot of time on Tumblr.

  16. You must spend a lot of time on Tumblr.

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