One Arm Pushup Progression
The pushup is a great strength and size builder for the chest, triceps and shoulders – but as we begin to get stronger the pushup is no longer a particularly compelling exercise…
A big bench press 1 rep maximum is impressive, but the one arm pushup will test your chest, triceps and core like nothing else.
Targets: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Core
One Arm Pushup Form:
Position your hands on floor as if you were about to perform a regular pushup, however maintain a wider stance with your legs (the closer they are the harder it gets!)
Tighten your core to stabilize.
Remove one arm from the ground, I find tucking my free arm behind my back to be the most efficient.
Lower your chest down to the floor by flexing your elbow while keeping it relatively tucked to your side.
Once your chest has touched the floor ensure your core remains ridged and drive your body back up until your arm is fully extended.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before changing arms.
One Arm Pushup Progression
One Arm Plank
In order to become familiar with the position and core stability of the one arm pushup I recommend starting with the one arm plank variation.
Perform a static hold in the plank position with one arm tucked behind your back.
Perform multiple sets on each arm – opting for 30~ second holds.
This one is a given, you must be able to nail the regular pushup before we delve into any one arm variations!
Ensure your torso remains straight and that your elbows aren’t flaring out to the sides.
You must be able to smash 20 regular pushups with strict form before proceeding.
One Arm Assisted Pushup
The one arm assisted pushup is as close as we can get to the real deal without doing it!
Assume a conventional push-up position, however opt to have one arm out sideways, resting your wrist on a medicine ball or similar.
This arm should only be used to assist as you begin to fail or reach a sticking point on your repetitions – you should be tightening your core and driving through the one arm that’s hand tucked in by your side.
Common One Arm Pushup Mistakes
Range of Motion
Do not use a partial range of motion.
Continue to perform the assisted one arm pushup with a full range of motion instead of hitting the one arm pushup with a minuscule range of motion.
Do not bounce or use momentum by hitting your chest on the floor at the bottom of each repetition.
If your elbows are excessively pointing out during your sets you’re risking shoulder injury.
Keep your arms tucked in.
Neglecting Your Core
The one arm pushup is almost as taxing on the abdominals as it is on the chest and triceps – keep your core tight!
If you find you’re struggling on the stabilization side of things I recommend spending more time working on your plank variations as well as the hanging leg raise.