[QUOTE=sbhikes;993780]I can do lots of chair and knee pushups. But I can't do a single regular one. I'll get there.
That Chataranga thing: that is what I simply cannot do at all. A pushup with your arms in that position. I can just hold myself there okay, but move up or down? Ha! Not possible! I'll try seeing how long I can hold that position. Maybe that will help.[/QUOTE]
Have you tried starting from the floor in that position and just working on pushing up, even if you don't make it all the way. Holding in the up position with the elbows locked probably won't build enough strength through the range of motion needed for the push up. You'll just get really good at staying in that position.
Ideally, your hands should be right at shoulder-width. Too much wider than that and it starts getting into weird angles of pressure on your shoulders. Keep working on your knee pushups, but tuck your elbows in and do them slowly. Go back to pushing up from a chair or against the wall if you have to.
I can do one, and one only full push up....but I'll get there too. A few months ago I couldn't do 10 push ups on my knees and now I'm doing loads of them - on my knees but with them pushed a long way back (sorry don't know what the technical term is - if there is one). It's just a question of strength.
I do a fair bit of yoga and used to find chaturanga (or however you spell it) really tough too, but once I started doing regular strength training - which includes lots of unstable base work to stress the core muscles - I find it much easier now. In fact I did some yoga last week for the first time in ages and was amazed at how much stronger I am.
Keep at it. It's possible that the not being able to bend your elbows thing is a mental block because you think you don't have the strength to avoid collapsing if you unlock them. Work on your core and upper body strength, and keep trying. You will get there.
I swear somebody could step on my back and my elbows still won't bend if my arms are close to my body. I can only do pushups with my arms fairly wide. I'm really close to being able to do one with wide arms. I practice on my chair every day and there's a playground nearby with a low step that I practice on, too. I'm using that playground to do negative pullups, too. I will get there. I'll be able to do both pullups and pushups someday, just not narrow arms on the pushups.
How are you doing with the pelvic floor issues? I know this isn't what you are asking but I remember you posted about that a while back. I am having my first experience with the same thing.
About the push ups. That sounds strange to me. It sure is easier to do the wider stance but elbows should be able to bend when closer together, too. You can do them on your knees with your arms close together?
Try the knuckle push ups. Maybe it is your wrists. :)
[QUOTE=sbhikes;994313]I swear somebody could step on my back and my elbows still won't bend if my arms are close to my body. I can only do pushups with my arms fairly wide. I'm really close to being able to do one with wide arms. I practice on my chair every day and there's a playground nearby with a low step that I practice on, too. I'm using that playground to do negative pullups, too. I will get there. I'll be able to do both pullups and pushups someday, just not narrow arms on the pushups.[/QUOTE]
A good regression for pushups is to do them elevated on a smith machine. Put the bar to a height that is comfortable for you to do a set of at least 10 reps and do the pushup from there. The closer to the ground the harder it will be. I'd suggest setting a goal of maybe 3x10. Every time you hit that at a certain height drop it down a notch on your next workout.
It occurs to me a may be a shoulder mobility problem, forcing the elbows to accommodate where the shoulders can't. Again, just a possibility.
I've been working hard for some time on pushups but am still pretty bad at them. Not quite as bad, but still bad. My trainer has me sometimes do incline pushups. The full position, but my hands are up on a weight bench, tire, or something else that has my hands off the ground.
Where are your hands when you attempt the full pushup? Are they in front of you, or beneath your shoulders? I tend to want to plant my hands too far forward, and my elbows don't like to bend either, though that is starting to improve. After 3 years...
Wide arm push ups are easiest for most women. Practically every woman I've ever seen in the Army does them that way. When we do our PT tests, I start out shoulder width and as I get more tired I will sometimes switch to a wide arm position. Your weakness is likely due to very weak triceps and pecs. Work on dips and also do some "girl pushups", the ones on your knees. Don't even think of the close arm push ups at this point. If you are at all curious, the Army standards for number of pushups can be found online. The number depends on age and gender. It might give you a number to shoot for that is age specific. Incidentally, when soldiers come into the Army, it is not uncommon for them to struggle with push ups. Almost every person finds a way to reach the required number at some point. Keep pushin!
Since the elbow itself only bends 1 way. I would guess either your wrists aren't flexible enough or your triceps and shoulders aren't strong enough. I see young children do their pushups wide like that too. Think it's just a strength issue.
If you can do 30 pushups on your knees, then I would say it's time to progress to a harder version. Try half pushups. Put a stack of books under your chest. Base the height on how far you feel you can come down and push up with some effort. Work that level until you can do 30 pushups and then remove a book.
Now you'll be going a little bit lower. Once you can do 30 again, remove a book. Keep doing this until you can do a full pushup. You can also get away with only working up to 20 reps, but I like going to 30.