One of the strongest moments in my life was when I achieved my goal of 20 push-ups on my toes. There is something about lowering and lifting your bodyweight that makes you feel crazy strong. It's also a fantastic bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere.
My clients do many, many push-ups. We start wherever their fitness levels are at but always progress to push-ups on their toes. I have a 69-year-old client who can easily do 20 push-ups on her toes! (I'm just so darn impressed with her!)
So, how the heck do you get to a point where you are strong enough to do push-ups on your toes?
Practice. Practice. Practice.
A beginner should start on her knees. After you can do 15 repetitions on your knees, segue into doing push-up negatives. (Get into a push-up position on your toes and slowly lower yourself down. Once you are on the ground, drop onto your knees and push yourself back up.) Keep practicing until you can get to a place where you can do 10 push-up negatives with good form. No "worming" your body on the way back - one solid push back to the starting position.
After mastering push-up negatives, I encourage clients to go to their toes. You may only go down an inch. That's ok. It's progress. Keep working at it until you can get yourself halfway down; after you reach that goal, add more push-up repetitions. Once you can do 10 push-ups going halfway down, try to get to a point where you can do 2-5 going all the way down.
Turn your push-ups into a benchmark exercise, so you can monitor how your fitness level is progressing. See how many you can do at once. Write the number down and continue to practice for the next 4-6 weeks. After your practice weeks, try to see how many more you can do!