I am encouraged that even at three weeks old I found push-ups difficult. I even stuck out my tongue as I tried. Regaining upper body strength as an adult has been a slow process. I am prone to tendinitis in my elbows and shoulders, and I have to carefully pace myself so that my muscles get strong enough to do the pushing and pulling. I have too often strained those tendons by not relying on the muscles. Whenever I tried to get stronger on my own at home, I would injure one or another tendon. Having a trainer has been wonderful since she adjusts my stance and modifies activities when I feel any twinge start up. This has allowed me to get a good deal stronger for the first time in years.
Patience has been the most important tool in my working to regain functional fitness. A sense of humor is also essential. Fortunately the camaraderie at the gym lets me take the process with laughter as we decide what real life skill is being developed with each new activity. Working on one legged squats we surmise would be handy if one had a broken foot. Carrying a kettle bell overhead would be good practice for portraying the Statue of Liberty at Halloween.