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Begin with a number of repetitions and sets that you can perform. A good range for beginners to try is around eight to 12 repetitions for three or four sets.
Aim for a higher number of either repetitions, sets or both during successive workouts.
Do not perform pushups on consecutive days. Muscles only make gains when they have a chance to recover.
Get on the floor on your hands and knees, and position your palms about shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms and legs so that your body forms a straight line, with your weight supported by your hands and feet. Position your feet about shoulder-width apart and come up on your toes. Keep your hips down, your back straight and your abs tight.
Lower yourself to the floor, keeping your body aligned.
Use your arms to press back up when your chest is near to or touching the floor.
Begin from a bent-knee position if you can't perform the basic press-up for at least three sets of eight repetitions. Your form stays the same, except your weight is on your knees instead of your toes.
Try a diamond press-up by putting your hands together with your thumbs and index fingers touching and performing the basic press-up move.
Execute a staggered press-up by staggering your hands so one is 6 to 10 inches in front of the other; then complete the basic press-up move.
Challenge yourself by performing an explosive press-up. Start in the basic press-up position and lower yourself almost to the floor. Power yourself up with enough force so that your hands briefly lift off the floor. Catch yourself on the way down and repeat.