30-Day Push-Up Challenge

Sculpt your abs, build lean arms, and tone your shoulders all in one move: push-ups.

Push-ups are one of the oldest and most basic exercises for a simple reason—they target all the major muscles in the upper body and boost core strength. The best part, push-ups don't require equipment. You can do them anywhere.

So put down the weights and test your body. Your task is to complete 100 push-ups a day for 30 days. You don't have to do them all at once. You can do them on your toes or on your knees. The main goal is to get down, push-up, and track your progress day after day.

Are you ready to commit to 30 days of push-ups? Here's what you need to get started. 

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Tips and Tools

  1. Read proper form and injury prevention tips (below).
  2. Pick your start date and write it in your calendar.
  3. Forward this to a friend to enlist support. It's always more fun with a workout buddy.
  4. Download your tracker.
  5. Get social for more support and motivation. "Like" the 30-Day Challenge Series on Facebook and follow @30_Challenge on Twitter.

Remember, some days are better than others. Don't get discouraged; keep your focus on the overall goal. This is why your tracker is so important in this challenge. Once you see that you are doing more in each set or have moved from your knees to your toes, you will be fired up with motivation to keep going.  

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Proper Form and Injury Prevention Tips

Push-Ups on Knees

  • Keep your body in a straight line.
  • Engage your core.
  • Move wrists in line with the shoulders.
  • Look forward, not down.

  • As you lower, keep the elbows at 90 degrees.

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Push-Ups on Toes

  • Keep your body in a straight line.
  • Engage your core.
  • Move wrists in line with the shoulders.
  • Fingers point straight.
  • Look forward, not down.  

  • As you lower, make sure your body is in a straight line, engage the core, and bend the elbows 90 degrees.

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Form is critical when doing push-ups, especially when you're doing them every day for 30 days. Incorrect form can compromise your results and cause injury. Here are eight things to think about when doing push-ups:

  • Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and in-line with your shoulders, not in front or behind your shoulder line.
  • Your feet should be set up in a way that feels right for you. The wider apart they are, the more stable you will be. If you are a beginner, start on your knees. You'll still get the same benefits from the exercise. As you gain strength, move to your toes.
  • Your body should be one straight line. From the top of your head to your heals (or knees). If a ball rolled down your back, it would roll smoothly to the ground. This means no butt in the air or arched back.
  • Flex your core. This will keep you in a straight line and also maximize your results.
  • Your head should be looking slightly ahead of you, not straight down. This will keep your neck straight. Think of your chin hitting the ground first, not your nose.
  • With your core engaged, lower yourself toward the ground until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  • At the bottom, hold for a second, to maximize your exercise, and push back up.
  • Repeat this as many times as you can until you feel your form is compromised. Then rest. Doing less push-ups correctly will give you better results than doing more with sub par technique.

More: 3 Steps to the Perfect Push-Up

Always listen to your body. This is a strenuous challenge, if you're body says take a day off, take it. Just get back on track the next day.

Take these moves with you. Download and print them here

How's your challenge going? Share your progress with us below.

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About the Author

Teresa M. Howes

Teresa M. Howes is a nutrition expert, fitness advocate, avid runner, published author and active blogger. Backed with a formal education and over a decade of professional experience consulting in the weight loss industry, she has an arsenal of tools, tips and tricks that she loves to share. Fired up with enthusiasm, she founded the 30-Day Challenge Series in May of 2013 and is thrilled to be cultivating a community of inspired, dedicated and successful fitness enthusiasts. You can find her latest and greatest at www.eatdrinkandbeskinny.com.

Teresa M. Howes is a nutrition expert, fitness advocate, avid runner, published author and active blogger. Backed with a formal education and over a decade of professional experience consulting in the weight loss industry, she has an arsenal of tools, tips and tricks that she loves to share. Fired up with enthusiasm, she founded the 30-Day Challenge Series in May of 2013 and is thrilled to be cultivating a community of inspired, dedicated and successful fitness enthusiasts. You can find her latest and greatest at www.eatdrinkandbeskinny.com.

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