So you want to impress your friends? girlfriend? or family? Learn to master the one arm pushup.
Why should you learn it?
Simply because it’s awesome!
The singe-arm pushup is the gold standard by which all other pushups are measured. Every guy wants to be able to do them (if possible more than once) but unfortunately most can’t. It’s certainly a rough exercise and a skill you should learn after you mastered the normal pushup.
When I talk about mastering the normal pushup, I mean you should be able to do at least 50 reps in a row.
You will require a lot of shoulder and triceps strength. The more you weigh the harder it gets.
Of course you’re not going to be able to do a one arm pushup if your core is lacking the capability to support your own body-weight.
Be careful to stop before you’re completely fatigued, otherwise there’s a chance you’re going to hurt yourself. If your arms give out you’ll go straight down to the floor.
You need your core muscles to balance your body ( it prevents you from falling straight on your face)
We posted an article about strengthening your core muscles a while ago, you can check it out if your core isn’t strong enough at the moment.
There are 2 different ways to do a one arm pushup
- With your arm out
- With your arm in
1. With your arms out :
The name is simple, it’s because your arm will be pointing away from your body. This forced the body and legs into a different position.
Your legs should be spread a bit wider then shoulder width so you can balance your body more easily. You should feel a tension running throughout your whole body, keep this tension! It’ll prevent you from falling down. When you’re going up, you don’t want to lock your arms completely. Make sure you keep the necessary tension.
Important to remember is to keep your body tight and don’t let your hips fall down.
(Small tip : it’s more easy to balance your body with your free hand behind your back)
If it’s to hard at the moment you can always try to do half reps and slowly build up to a ‘full chest to the ground’ rep.
2. With your arms in :
As you may have guessed, your arm will be close to your body.
This is harder than the previous number 1 because it relies more on your triceps strength.
A big difference is the hand placement, you put it at the side of your body. Your upper arm should be bend around 90°.
You need to keep your arm tight enough, otherwise you’ll lose the necessary tension. Don’t forget to lock your back while performing this exercise. I specifically point to your lats, also known as your “wings”.
progression exercises :
- Ab wheel rollout
- Elevated one arm pushups (against the wall)
- Place one hand on a slightly elevated object
- Typewriter pushups
You can do endless reps of pushups but not a one-arm pushup? try some of the following exercises.
You can start with an assisted version.
Place a medicine ball or a box underneath you while in pushup position, keep it closer to your body to make it easier and put it further away to make it harder.
Watch this Youtube video to see how you should perform them : Al Kavadlo showing you different stages to improve your one armed pushup.
Sometimes the toughest strength moves don’t need any iron at all.
At the moment you master the one arm exercise you should take an exemple from the famous Bruce Lee and master the two-fingered pushup.
The one arm pushup is very attainable for almost everyone!
Don’t limit yourself by only doing regular pushups, grow and show the world your special pushup variations.
Let me know if you can do any push up variations?