How to Do 100 Push-Ups

Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step -- and it goes for accomplishing the task of completing 100 pushups as well. It's one of the most basic exercises out there, requiring only your own body weight to complete, but it's also a challenging exercise that is effective for toning your chest, shoulders, arms and core. Completing a full 100 pushups at a time is no easy feat, but by developing a solid workout plan, you should be able to get there over time.

Learn the correct form for pushups. If you're aiming to do 100 pushups to get ready for basic training or another military test, proper form will ensure those pushups get counted toward your score. Lie on your stomach on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed to the floor. When you rise to the "up" position, your hands will need to be below your shoulders. If they're forward or backward, you'll lose strength, reminds military trainer Stew Smith. When you lower yourself to the "down" position, maintain a flat back and tight abs, and stop when your chest is about 4 inches from the floor. Your elbows should have a 90-degree bend, advises Smith.

Test how many pushups you can do as you start out. Have a friend stand by you for moral support -- and to help you count your number. Whatever that number is, write it down in a training journal, along with the date.

Wait at least one full day before attempting pushups again. This gives your muscles time to rest and recover in between workouts. Don't do pushups every day -- always give yourself at least 24 hours between sessions.

Set a goal to beat your number of pushups by five repetitions by the end of the next week. Having a specific goal can help you stay motivated, as you'll have evidence of being able to do even a few more pushups at a time.

Complete as many regular pushups as you can during each session, and then finish by doing the remainder of your pushups on your knees, so you're doing a full 100 every round. For example, if you were able to do 50 pushups, round out your set by completing 50 pushups on your knees. If you're starting from a very low number, you may not be able to complete a full 100 even on your knees. The key is to do as many as you possibly can. Also consider breaking it up into multiple sets in a single session. For example, do as many as you can, take a break for 30 seconds, and then do a second set of as many as you can. Do this even three, four or five times so you're completing a full 100 at the end of the day.

Continue adding more "regular" pushups with every workout, or at least every week. It may take you several weeks or months to get up to 100, but over time you will get there.

Tips

While pushups themselves offer enough upper-body strength training to help you progress up to more and more pushups, you can also add other strength-training exercises into your routine to help you get stronger faster. After your pushup training, try adding biceps curls, triceps curls, chest presses and pullups to your routine. Also, don't overlook cardiovascular training, which can help you lose weight and make it easier to lift your body weight against gravity. Running, swimming, cycling or any other activity that gets your heart beating faster is fair game for cardio training.

×