Woman in athletic wear doing push ups at the beach

The 30-Day Push-Up Challenge for Seriously Strong Arms

Whether you're a push-up pro or a total newbie, try this 30-day push-up challenge to take your reps (and form!) to the next level.

Looking to build strength throughout your entire upper body without any fancy gym equipment? To help you achieve your fitness goals with just your bodyweight, Shape tapped Holly Rilinger, a Nike Master Trainer and the creator of LIFTED, to create this 30-day push-up challenge. Over the course of the month, you'll slowly increase your reps and perform complementary moves that help build triceps and core strength.

Ready to take part in the 30-day push-up challenge? Scroll down to Day 1 of the workout plan, then watch Rilinger as she demos the exercise. Each day, come back to complete the suggested exercise. If any of the push-ups feel a bit too difficult for you, feel free to take to your knees or try another modification. Remember: There's no shame in meeting yourself where you're at.

While this 30-day push-up challenge will help you strengthen your entire upper body, don't forget to add some "pull" exercises (like rows and pull-ups) to your workout routine throughout the month. "Any balanced full-body workout should work opposing muscle groups," says Rilinger. (Hold up! Before you dive into the 30-day push-up challenge, here's how to do a push-up with perfect form.)

Shape 30-Day Push-Up Challenge

The 30-Day Push-Up Challenge

Day 1: Modified Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a modified plank position with hands directly under shoulders and knees on the floor. Rest tips of toes on the floor.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Slowly lower body and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Push away from the floor to return to the starting position.

Do 15 reps.

Day 2: Elbow Plank

Day 2: Elbow Plank

A. Start in a table-top position on the floor with hands stacked directly under shoulders, knees bent and stacked directly under hips, and feet hip-width apart. Lower one forearm down to the floor at a time, elbows in line with shoulders. Plant palms firmly on the floor or create gentle fists.

B. Lift both knees off the floor and straighten legs to come into a forearm plank position, squeezing glutes together and engaging core. Actively push away from the floor and maintain a straight line from head to heels.

Hold for 1 minute.

Day 3: Modified Push-Up with 3 to 1

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a modified plank position with hands directly under shoulders and knees on the floor. Rest tips of toes on the floor.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Slowly lower body, counting to three, and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Push away from the floor to return to the starting position in one second.

Do 15 reps.

Day 4: High Plank with Shoulder Tap

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a table-top position on the floor with hands stacked directly under shoulders, knees bent and stacked directly under hips, and feet hip-width apart.

B. Lift both knees off the floor and straighten legs to come into a high plank position on palms, squeezing glutes together and engaging core. Actively push away from the floor and maintain a straight line from head to heels.

C. Keeping left hand planted on the floor and core engaged, bring right hand up and quickly tap left shoulder, then lower it back to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.

Continue alternating for 1 minute.

Day 5: Rest

Day 5: Rest
PETER ARDITO

Take a rest day from this 30-day push-up challenge — you deserve it. (

Day 6: Modified Push-Up with Shoulder Tap

A. Start in a modified plank position with hands directly under shoulders and knees on the floor. Rest tips of toes on the floor.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Slowly lower body and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Push away from the floor to return to the starting position.

E. Keeping left hand planted on the floor and core engaged, bring right hand up and quickly tap left shoulder, then lower it back to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep.

Do 15 reps.

Day 7: Side Plank

Day 7: Side Plank
PETER ARDITO

A. Lie on left side of body, left elbow resting on the floor in line with left shoulder, both legs extended out to right side, and feet stacked.

B. Engage core, ground through left elbow and feet, and lift hips and knees off the floor, simultaneously raising right arm toward the ceiling. Gaze toward right hand and maintain a straight line from head to heels.

Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

Day 8: Triceps Dip

PETER ARDITO

A. Start seated on a chair. Position hands on the edge of the chair under glutes and directly below shoulders. Shift glutes forward off of the chair.

B. Slowly lower body by bending at the elbow until arms are bent at 90-degree angles. Ensure that shoulders, elbows, and wrists remain in line with one another at all times.

C. Push through heel of hand and quickly extend arms to return to the starting position. Avoid using legs to assist and maintain an upright position.

Do 15 reps.

Day 9: Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body, stopping 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to toe.

D. Quickly push back up to the starting position.

Do 10 reps.

Day 10: Rest

Day 10: Rest
PETER ARDITO

Take a break from this 30-day push-up challenge and allow your body to rest and recover. (Wait, is it bad to work out every day?)

Day 11: Modified Plyo Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a modified plank position with hands directly under shoulders and knees on the floor. Rest tips of toes on the floor.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Slowly lower body and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Push away from the floor and quickly lift hands off the ground, creating a jumping motion. Drop them back on the floor. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps.

Day 12: Push-Up with Alternating Side Plank

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in the lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body, stopping 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to toe.

D. Quickly push back up into a high plank. Lift right arm up toward the ceiling and rotate upper body to come into a side plank on left side, keeping both feet on the floor.

E. Lower right arm down to the floor and reverse the rotation of upper body to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Do 15 reps, alternating sides.

Day 13: Superman Plank

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a table-top position on the floor with hands stacked directly under shoulders, knees bent and stacked directly under hips, and feet hip-width apart.

B. Lift both knees off the floor and straighten legs to come into a high plank position on palms, squeezing glutes together and engaging core. Actively push away from the floor and maintain a straight line from head to heels to come into the starting position.

C. Slowly walk left hand one step in front of body, followed by right hand. Pause, then return right hand and left hand back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps.

Day 14: Modified Triceps Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a modified plank position with hands directly under shoulders and knees on the floor. Rest tips of toes on the floor.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears.

C. Keeping arms close to sides, slowly lower body and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Push away from the floor to return to the starting position.

Do 15 reps.

Day 15: Rest

Day 15: Rest
PETER ARDITO

Take a rest day from this 30-day push-up challenge. (BTW, Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby is a huge fan of rest days.)

Day 16: Modified Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a modified plank position with hands directly under shoulders and knees on the floor. Rest tips of toes on the floor.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Slowly lower body and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Push away from the floor to return to the starting position.

Do 20 reps.

Day 17: Walking Plank

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a table-top position on the floor with hands stacked directly under shoulders, knees bent and stacked directly under hips, and feet hip-width apart.

B. Lift both knees off the floor and straighten legs to come into a high plank position on palms, squeezing glutes together and engaging core. Actively push away from the floor and maintain a straight line from head to heels to come into the starting position.

C. Keeping hips square, lower right elbow to the floor, then left elbow, to come into a forearm plank. Place right hand under right shoulder, then left hand under left shoulder to return to a high plank. That's one rep.

Do 15 reps.

Day 18: Triceps Dip

PETER ARDITO

A. Start seated on a chair. Position hands on the edge of the chair under glutes and directly below shoulders. Shift glutes forward off of the chair.

B. Slowly lower body by bending at the elbow until arms are bent at 90-degree angles. Ensure that shoulders, elbows, and wrists remain in line with one another at all times.

C. Push through heel of hand and quickly extend arms to return to the starting position. Avoid using legs to assist and maintain an upright position.

Do 2 sets of 15 reps.

Day 19: Hand Release Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body to the floor.

D. Quickly lift hands off the floor, lower them back down, then push off the floor to return to the starting position. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

Do 8 to 10 reps.

Day 20: Rest

Day 20: Rest
PETER ARDITO

Take a rest day to celebrate your progress throughout this 30-day push-up challenge. (

Day 21: Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body, stopping 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to toe.

D. Quickly push back up to the starting position.

Do 15 reps.

Day 22: Side Plank with Hip Tap

PETER ARDITO

A. Lie on left side of body, left elbow resting on the floor in line with left shoulder, both legs extended out to right side, feet stacked, and right hand on hip.

B. Engage core, ground through left elbow and feet, and lift hips and knees off the floor, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.

C. Dip left hip toward the floor, then raise it back up to the starting position.

Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Day 23: High Plank with Rotation

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a table-top position on the floor with hands stacked directly under shoulders, knees bent and stacked directly under hips, and feet hip-width apart.

B. Lift both knees off the floor and straighten legs to come into a high plank position on palms, squeezing glutes together and engaging core. Actively push away from the floor and maintain a straight line from head to heels to come into the starting position.

C. Keeping core engaged, drive right knee to left elbow, pause, then return right foot back to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side, driving left knee to right elbow, pausing, then returning left foot back to the floor. That's one rep.

Do 15 reps.

Day 24: High Plank

Day 24: Plank
PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a table-top position on the floor with hands stacked directly under shoulders, knees bent and stacked directly under hips, and feet hip-width apart.

B. Lift both knees off the floor and straighten legs to come into a high plank position on palms, squeezing glutes together and engaging core. Actively push away from the floor and maintain a straight line from head to heels.

Hold for 90 seconds.

Day 25: Rest

Day 25: Rest
PETER ARDITO

Take a break from this 30-day push-up challenge and treat your body to some rest and relaxation. (ICYMI, there are seven types of rest you need in your life.)

Day 26: Push-Up and Side Plank

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body, stopping 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to toe.

D. Quickly push back up to the starting position.

Do 15 reps.

E. After completing all push-up reps, lower left elbow to the floor underneath shoulder, then raise right arm out to the side and rotate body to assume a side plank position. Feet should be stacked and gaze should be directed toward right hand. Maintain a straight line from head to heels.

Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

Day 27: Hand Release Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads.

C. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body to the floor.

D. Quickly lift hands off the floor, lower them back down, then push off the floor to return to the starting position. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

Do 10 reps.

Day 28: Triceps Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads.

C. Keeping arms close to sides, slowly lower body and stop 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to knees.

D. Quickly push back up to the starting position.

Do 10 reps.

Day 29: Rest

Day 29: Rest
PETER ARDITO

Take a rest day — you've almost made it through this 30-day push-up challenge.

Day 30: Push-Up

PETER ARDITO

A. Start in a high plank position with hands directly underneath shoulders and legs extended, feet hip-width apart.

B. Engage core by tucking tailbone and drawing navel in toward spine. Lock in lats by drawing shoulders down and away from ears. Engage glutes and quads. Push elbows out so arms form a 45-degree angle to body.

C. Look down to keep neck neutral and slowly lower body, stopping 3 inches above the floor. Keep core engaged throughout the movement, ensuring body forms a straight line from head to toe.

D. Quickly push back up to the starting position.

Do 20 reps.

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