So I've started doing tiger pushups and decline (elevated feet) pushups. Tiger pushups are quite difficult right now and hard to regulate, but the decline pushups can be controlled pretty easily to match strength levels. There's the angle of declension, and how much of your body you actually push up. I am starting with our ottoman, pivoting from the knee which makes it a lot easier and saves my knee which is still healing. As I progress, I will move to using my feet as a fulcrum, then increase the elevation of my feet, gradually approaching vertical. Voila, handstand pushups! That's the idea, at least.
'cheating' decline pushup, beware of kitties!
It is harder to make a linear progression with bodyweight only exercise, you can't just slap on 5 lbs a week, but that is also part of the challenge, what can make it more interesting. Handstand pushups also require more balance, proprioception and core muscle strength than pressing one's own weight with barbells. If I ever master these, I will move onto clap handstand pushups. And pigs might learn to fly, and Tom Cruise might come out of the closet, politicians might tell the truth, world peace, etc. If I could do a handstand clap pushup, anything's possible.
With the new regime, I'm increasing the volume (frequency and reps), and now have no problem getting crazy sore once again. Bodyweight exercise can be adapted to any level. of fitness, in my case, slightly above beginner. I'm trying to get the wife interested in strength training, she's added some HIIT training which is halfway there, but I think a pure strength training session at least once a week is important especially as one approaches and passes 40.