Pushups are one of the most popular bodyweight exercises to train your upper body. Doing pushups as a woman can help you build your body strength, tone your arm and shoulder muscles, and increase your cardiovascular fitness.
While most pushup guides give you a general guideline for men and women thus it’s not that suitable for female beginners.
So, in this article, you will know the best push-up workout for women with fitness levels from beginners to advanced levels.
You will also read about – pushup workout routines for females, recommended reps and sets of pushups to do, pushup progression plans for females and some of the best pushup variations a woman should do to improve their fitness and tone their body.
So, without further ado let’s begin.
Push-up workout for women with different fitness levels
Below you will find 3 different push-workout plans for women and you can follow the appropriate pushup workout as per your fitness level.
Here’s what you need to know to determine your current fitness level for choosing the right workout plan.
If you can do 0-5 normal pushups or below 15 knee pushups (also known as girl pushups) then you are at the beginner level.
If you can do more than 5 -10 regular pushups or more than 20 knee pushups then you are at the intermediate level.
If you can do close to 20 pushups or more than 35 knee pushups then you are at the advanced level.
Push-up workout for female beginners
If you are a female beginner then you can do three pushup variations in your pushup workout. You can do knee pushups, wall pushups and regular pushups.
To start your workout you do some simple body and hand stretches or read our article where we talk more about how to warm up properly before a pushup workout.
After warming up you should do knee pushups for one set (your target is to complete 7-15 knee pushups). Then take 60-90 seconds rest then try to do regular pushups. It’s ok if you can’t do normal pushups or you could only do 1-2 pushups but it’s important that you try.
To complete your pushup workout you should do wall push-ups ( your target is to do 5-10 wall pushups) and complete your three pushup sets.
You will read more about how many days to do pushups and how to do pushups with proper form later in this article.
Related: How many knee pushups equal 1 pushup?
Intermediate pushup workout for women
If you are at the intermediate level then you can do 4 pushup variations which are – knee pushups, wall pushups, incline pushups and regular pushups.
You can do 3-4 sets of pushups depending on the day and your energy level. Here is a list of foods you can eat before a workout for more energy.
First, you need to warm up for 2-3 minutes before you start your workout. Then take 1-minute rest and start your pushup workout.
In the first set, you should do knee pushups until failure or to the point where you can’t do any more knee pushups with the right form. You should be doing 20 or more knee pushups.
After resting for 60-90 seconds you need to do incline pushups (I will cover how to do incline pushups step by step later in this article). You should try to do 7-12 incline pushups.
If you want to do only three sets of pushups then in the last set you should do regular pushups and try to do 5-10 pushups. But if you want to do 4 sets you should do one set of wall push-ups after doing regular pushups. If you are doing wall push-ups then you can do close to 15 wall pushups.
You should know that if you are doing 3-4 sets of pushups then after completing the first two sets you will be doing fewer pushups and that’s ok. As long your pushup workout is challenging for your body it will help you build upper body strength and help you tone your body.
Related: Best time to do pushups in a day.
Advanced pushup workout for women
If you are at the advanced level and master the push-up then you should follow this pushups workout.
As you are at the advanced level and you will be doing more pushups than most people it’s highly recommended that you properly warm up your body before you start your pushup workout. Read this article if you want to know how to properly warm up before doing pushups.
After warming up you should take 1 minute rest.
After resting you should do regular pushups for 2 sets. In the first set, you should do 10-15 pushups. After taking rest for 60 seconds you should do your second set and do pushups until failure.
After every pushup set, you should take 1-minute rest.
In the third set, you will be doing incline pushups for 10-15 reps.
In the fourth set on different days, you will be doing different types of pushups until failure or try to do more than 10 pushups if you are doing – wall push-ups, decline pushups or feet elevated pushups and more than 15 pushups if you are doing knee pushups.
Pushup workout routine plus reps and sets for women
Here are 3 pushup routines for female beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. You will also know how many days you should be doing pushups according to your fitness level.
Pushup workout routine for female beginners.
As a beginner, you can do pushups 4-5 days a week. After every 1-2 days of doing pushups, you should take rest days.
In some cases, if you find your muscles are sore or stiff then you should take rest days or no upper body training until your body heals itself.
Here is the pushup routine for you.
|Number of pushups
Push-up workout routine for the intermediate level.
If you are at the intermediate level you can do pushups for 4 days a week. After every 1-2 pushup days you should take 1 rest day.
Here’s the pushup workout routine for you.
|Number of pushups
|20 or more
Advanced pushup routine for women.
As you will be doing more pushups it’s recommended that you do pushups for 3-4 days a week and you should not do pushups every day. Doing pushups in large numbers every day increases the chances of overtraining.
If you want a simple workout routine then you can also do pushups every other day.
Here’s the pushup routine for women who are at the advanced level.
|Number of pushups
Push-up progression for women
There are 2 progression plans – the first one is for beginners and the second one is for intermediate and advanced-level exercisers.
Push-up progression plan for female beginners
This pushup progression plan is for female beginners for 8 weeks. After this time period, it’s most likely you will level up your fitness level.
For the first 3 weeks, you need to do forearm planks for close to 30 seconds and you will be doing 2-3 sets of planks 5-6 days a week. For those days when you will be also doing pushups, you need to do planks before your pushup workout and it can also help you warm up your body.
From weeks 4-6, you need to do two plank variations which are forearm plank and high plank. At this point, you will be doing 3-4 sets of planks and training 5 days a week. You should try to hold your plank for more than 30 seconds. The longer the better.
From 6-8 weeks you need to do the above two planks but do only 3 sets in total. Also, you need to add a new exercise and that is mountain climbers. You should do mountain climbers for 2-3 sets depending on your stamina or you could do mountain climbers for 1 minute then take 60-90 seconds rest and again do mountain climbers for 1 minute.
Following this pushup progression plan for 8 weeks will help you build muscle strength and you will be able to increase the number of pushups you can do.
Related: Pushup routine for beginners.
Pushup progression for intermediate and advanced level
You have to do these exercises for 4-8 weeks. After every week you should try to do more sets and increase the duration or do more reps.
The first exercise you should do is a high plank for 2 sets and try to hold your body in plank position for 40-60 seconds. After completing two sets and taking rest for 60 seconds after each set you should do forearm plank for one set and try to stay in the plank position as long as you can.
The second exercise you should be doing is mountain climbers. You should do 3-4 sets of mountain climbers for 40 – 60 seconds in each set and take 1-2 minute rest in between sets.
You have to do the above two exercises 4-5 days a week.
For those days when you will be doing pushups, you need to do these pushup variations for 2 sets. From below pick different pushup types and do them for 2 sets once a week. In each set, you need to do pushups until failure. You will be doing these pushup variations as a part of your pushup workout for 3-4 days a week.
The first pushup variation you should do is incline pushups or pushups on an elevated surface. You can place your hands on the bed frame, on the couch and on the stairs.
The second pushup you should do is wall pushups.
The third pushup you need to do is explosive pushups. Explosive pushups are an advanced pushup variation that requires you to push your hands off the ground a little bit when you are pushing your body upwards. For reference, you should try to lift your hands off the ground by approximately 5 inches.
The fourth pushup is the decline pushup where you place your feet on a higher surface like a bed frame, on the couch or sofa. Doing this pushup applies more of your body weight than normal pushups and is helpful for improving the number of pushups you can do.
- How many wall pushups should I do a day?
- How many knee pushups should I do?
- Are wall pushups effective?
Variations of pushups women should do
Here are some of the best pushup types for women and how to do them the right way.
Knee pushups also known as girl pushups.
Knee pushups are good for female beginners and easy to do. But doing the right amount of knee pushups can help to build body strength so that you can do harder pushup variations.
Here’s how you can do knee pushups.
1. Kneel down on an exercise mat or soft surface (you can also double fold a towel and keep it under your knees). Your knees should be at a fixed position and place your hands shoulder-width apart and lean your body forward by making roughly 40-45 degree angle. Your fingers should point forward and your knees should be hip-width apart and positioned directly below your hips.
2. Keep your toes on the ground and extend your legs straight behind you. Your body needs to form a straight line from your head to your knees. This is the starting position for doing knee pushups.
3. Contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your navel inward towards your spine. Doing this will help you maintain body stability when performing knee pushups.
4. Gradually lower your upper body toward the floor by bending your elbows. When lowering your body keep your elbows close to your sides and pointed slightly backwards.
5. Continue lowering your body to the point where your chest is about to touch the ground. Your chest should be approximately 1 inch above the ground. You should maintain a straight line from your head to your knees throughout the movement.
6. Now push your hands to straighten your arms and move your body upward to return to the starting position.
7. This completes one rep of knee pushups. Repeat this process to do knee pushups as per your fitness level.
Related: Morning pushup routine.
Wall pushups are beginner friendly but a little more challenging when compared to knee pushups. Here’s how many wall pushups equals one regular pushup.
Doing wall pushups is a great way to build initial muscle strength so that you can do normal pushups. Also, you can do wall pushups before your pushup workout to warm up your body.
Here’s how you can do wall pushups.
1. Pick a wall which is not slippery but smooth so that it doesn’t leave marks on the palm of your hands. Stand approximately one arm’s length from the wall and your feet should be hip-width apart.
2. Place both of your palms on the wall at shoulder-level height. Your hand should be shoulder-width apart and your fingers pointed upwards.
3. Gradually lower your body by bending your elbows and make your body lean toward the wall to that point where your face or nose comes 1-2 inches closer to the wall. You should keep your back straight throughout the movement.
4. Push your hands and get back to the starting position to complete 1 wall pushup and repeat.
Related: Wall pushup workout routine.
Traditional pushups are a great all-rounder when it comes to training your upper body and core muscles. To do traditional pushups it’s needs some body strength. So, female beginners might find it hard to do this pushup.
Here’s how you can do traditional push-ups with the right form.
Step 1: Starting Position
Start in a high plank position by positioning yourself face down on the floor. Place your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Your fingers should point forward. Extend your legs straight behind you so that your toes touch the ground firmly. From your head to your toe your body should form a straight line. Try to keep your back straight as much as you can. This is the starting position for doing traditional push-ups.
Tighten your belly or core muscles by pulling them towards your spine.
Step 3: Performing pushups
Start doing pushups by bending your elbows and lowering your body toward the floor. You should keep your elbows close to your sides and be pointed slightly backwards. Lower your body until your chest is close to the ground but should not touch the ground.
Step 4: Completing one rep
Push your hands and straighten your arms and move your body upwards back to the starting position. This completes one pushup repeat this movement to do more pushups.
Incline push-ups are a modified version of traditional push-ups which are good for beginners to advanced level exercisers. Especially incline pushups are good for working out your lower chest.
Doing Incline push-ups can help you strengthen your upper body, build core strength and build your chest.
Here’s the right incline push-up technique you should follow to get better results.
1. To do incline pushups you need a higher surface slightly higher than your knees. You can use your bed frame, a bench or a couch. But the surface needs to be firm and should not wobble otherwise it can lead to injuries. Sit down facing the bench, couch or bed frame. Place your hands on the edge of the surface slightly wider than shoulder width. Extend your legs backwards so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your toes and your hands should be straight. This is the starting position for doing incline pushups.
2. Keep your body straight and lower your body by bending your elbows. Lower your body to the point where your chest comes close to the higher surface.
3. Now push and move your body upwards and come back to the starting position. Repeat the process to do more incline pushups.
Decline pushups are good for working out your upper chest. When you do decline pushups more of your body weight are applied as your feet are placed on a higher surface. Doing decline pushups will help you build body strength and can increase the number of pushups you can do.
Here’s how you can do this push-up exercise.
To do decline pushups you need a higher surface approximately 3 feet tall. You can use a bench, chair, bed frame or couch. You should know that increasing the height of the object will make your decline pushups harder.
1. Kneel down on the floor facing the opposite direction to the bench or bed frame and place your hands on the floor a little more than shoulder-width apart. Now extend your legs backwards and first place one of your legs on the bench then adjust by moving your hands closer or further so that you are comfortable. Then place your other leg on the bench or bed frame. Keep your core engaged and back straight. Your body should form a straight line. This is the starting position.
2. Now bend your elbows and move your body downwards without moving your feet. Once your nose gets closer to the floor (2 inches) push upwards and go to the starting position. Repeat this to do desired amounts of decline pushups.
Explosive pushups also known as plyo pushups are an advanced pushup type which works out your chest, triceps, core and shoulders. This pushup requires you to push your hands off the ground thus including the jumping element or explosive movement in this exercise.
Doing explosive pushups is also good for building your body strength and you will be able to increase the number of pushups you can do.
Here’s how you can do explosive pushups.
1. To do the explosive pushup you should be in the pushup position. You should place your hands shoulder-width apart.
2. Gradually lower your body like you are doing a normal pushup.
3. When you push up you should push upwards with enough force so that you can lift your hands off the ground. If you are doing explosive pushups for the first time you should try to lift your hands approximately 5 inches off the ground.
4. When you are coming down rapidly adjust your hands and try to land your hands lightly on the ground. When your hands are on the ground take one or half of a second to catch your breath and repeat this movement to do explosive pushups as per your fitness level.
Integrating pushups into your workout routine
You can do pushups in the morning or for busy days you can do pushups before bed. The effectiveness of pushups remains the same no matter at what time you are doing pushups. But it’s recommended to do pushups in the morning if you are working out primarily for fat loss.
Pushups are great for training your upper body. You can do pushups for 3-5 days to get the best results.
To improve your fitness you should not only do pushups. Here are some exercises you can do daily.
Tips for integrating pushups into your workout routine and getting the best results possible.
- Find out your fitness level and follow a pushup workout routine that is suitable for you.
- As per your fitness level, you should pick the right type of pushup variations to do. Beginners should stick with doing knee pushups, wall pushups and regular pushups. Where when you get more advanced you need to do harder pushup variations to get the best results.
- You should try to maintain proper form and you should not try to do more pushups by following an incorrect form. Not following the pushup form decreases the effectiveness of pushups.
- Gradually increase your pushup intensity to avoid workout injuries.
Final thoughts about push-ups for women
Doing pushups for women can be effective to build their body strength and to get a toned look.
Especially doing the right amounts of pushups 3-5 days a week can help you burn your underarm fat, tone your arms and shoulder, correct your body posture and improve your core strength.
This pushup workout for women gives you the number of pushups you should try to do as per your fitness level and how many days to do pushups.
To get to the next level and improve the number of pushups you can do, follow the pushup progression plan for women for 8 weeks.
How many pushups should a woman do a day?
How many pushups should a woman do a day depends on their fitness level. For example, a female beginner could do 15-20 pushups a day whereas someone is doing pushups for some time can do 50-70 pushups a day. Also, these numbers will double if they are doing knee pushups or wall pushups.
Can push-ups flatten your belly?
Pushups can be as effective as planks when it comes to flattening your belly. Doing pushups over time can help you get a flat stomach. To get the best results you need to do other core exercises and maintain healthy eating habits. Additionally, you can lower your junk food consumption for better results.
Are push-ups good for females?
Yes, pushups are good for females to build body strength and tone their arms and shoulder and in improving core strength.
How many push-ups are impressive for a girl?
15-20 pushups in one set are pretty impressive for a girl.
Should a woman do push-ups every day?
For some weeks female beginners could do pushups every day. But once you are able to do more pushups you should only do pushups 3-5 days a week.
Are 10 push-ups good for a girl?
Yes, being able to do 10 regular pushups in one set is good for a girl.
What Are “Girl” Push-Ups?
Girl pushups are actually a term used for knee pushups. Knee pushups are suitable for men and women who are just started doing pushups and don’t have the required body strength and fitness to do regular pushups.
Why Are Push-Ups So Hard For Women?
In general, women have less muscle mass compared to men. Lower muscle mass results in less strength. So, regular pushups can feel hard for a woman who never did pushups. But with time and practice females can build up muscle strength and they can do pushups comfortably.
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