If there aren’t any anatomical issues or previous injuries that could be the problem, it is most likely lack of strength. How much weight can the client chest press?
If the push up is a goal, use the standard push up progression to work up to it. If you don’t know what that is, contact me or search it.
Lots of useful info here to get you started.
It appears the exercise is too hard for your client or their form needs some work.
I’d start with the reason why you prescribed the exercise then regress from the push up backwards to a resistance band.
Test your clients shoulder stability, ask about wrist conditions, think about their body composition and experience then prescribe an alternative.
It’s important for the clients self efficacy to successfully perform the exercises we give them.
They tend not to come back if they don’t feel good because they found the workout too challenging.
The reason someone is unable to perform a push-up is due to the lack of strength in the three major muscles required to perform a proper push up. Those muscles include the pectoralis, deltoids and triceps.
Having your client perform various exercises that help strengthen these muscles should eventually allow them to build the strength and balance needed to properly execute a push up.
Depending on where your client is at his/hers strength training this could take a couple weeks or a few months. Working with light bench press, shoulder press and resistance bands will help build their strength to the required amount. Remember not to rush it since an injury would be detrimental to the progress.
There are many factors that can affect the pushup. I would also have your client start doing pushups from a different position (wall, table, chairs, bench, floor with knee assistance, regular push ups). If you are at a gym then a Smith machine would be a great alternative for all of the other options because you can adjust the height of the bar.
Hello Zisi Wolf,
Natalie Smith gave a great answer and I am just going to try to add another 2 cents to it. So, yes, start off with some form of assisted push up, wall push up, then push up off a bench (hands on the bench), notice the elbow angle in that it is near parallel to the chest.
Also, as per the plank, maybe they are doing the plank wrong? There are numerous ways to cheat on planks. tell them to dig there forearms and hands into the mat and pull back towards their belly while squeezing the glutes. That they cant cheat.