You CAN Do Push-Ups (And Anything Else You Want)
The "I can't" mindset when it comes to unfamiliar or difficult movements is hugely problematic. Not because it's a sign of weakness (which I don't think it is), but more because this mindset exposes some huge holes in our fundamental thinking around difficult things. I promise I'll get to push-ups in a minute - but let's first discuss how movements are progressed.
MOST of the movements you see in a gym can be scaled back one, two, three, or four times in difficulty to allow anyone at any level to begin developing the strength and skill necessary to progress to the ultimate variation - what you usually see in the gym. A good coach will know how to modify and scale movements in a general and specific sense. For example: scaling a movement because it's just really difficult (take push-ups or pull-ups) may be different than scaling a movement because someone has an injury. In some cases the options are the same, in a lot of cases they aren't. There are some general rules and ideas when it comes to scaling: limit the range of motion, use lighter or no weight, add some form of assistance (like a band), or use body position to decrease the difficulty (as we will see with the push-up). When it comes to injury, scaling can involve changing a movement entirely, but scaling around injury is another post in itself.
In the push up, we use the angle of our body to decrease the difficulty of the exercise. The closer your head is to the ground, the HARDER the movement will be. The further your head is from the ground, the EASIER the movement will be. SO!
1) Try to do pushups facing a wall with your hands up against the wall. Lowering your forehead to the wall and driving yourself straight back.
2) Over time, lower the surface further (like the back of a couch or a high box) until that movement because doable for 10 reps.
3) Continue to lower the surface down lower and try to build up the capacity to do 10 reps before you move on.
4) Once you've reached the flat plank version of pushups, you can further decrease the difficulty by elevating your feet!
Take a look at this video below for more information! Have a Pain-Free Day!