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1 Arm Push-Up ?

I can do 1 1-arm push-up right now with both arms, but they’re extremely shaky. By body doesn’t stay straight (at all) like with a regular push-up. (My legs are spread apart btw). I’m unable to do the push-ups with proper form.

How can I train to get the proper form without using the proper form, since I lack the strength? Only thing I can think of is to consciously use proper form and a spotter.

Any other ideas?

Do them against a wall. Then as you progress do them against something lower. Eventually you will be able to do more on the floor.

Try elevating your hands on a box , the weight displacement (towards your feet) should make it easier on your arm & shoulder .

Crouching Tiger

Start on a stairway,say 4 steps up.This should increase your rep potential. Practice but never go to failure (not always,just on this) When you can get to 5 reps and still feel like you have a couple left in the gas tank, then drop to another step.It is slower than many ways but it is safer and you will get a longer cycle out of it. When you get to the floor,work up to 5 reps again,same feeling. Take a week off from it and them go back to the stairs 1 arm,1 leg and so on til you can do 1 arm 1 leg pushups on the floor for reps.Then do 1 arm pushups on a dyna disc, then 1 arm 1 leg on a dyna disc, then 1 arm on a stability ball (feet elevated to keep body horizontal) then 1 arm 1 leg on a stability ball (horizontal. By this point, you should be able to win any one arm push up bet. Good luck! zachariah salazar

PS Sorry so long, but micro progression is VERY important! :wink:

Thanks guys.

I’m having a hard time thinking of how they can be performed on a staircase. The movement is very akward.

BTW, I center my palm intead of keeping it to the side, is that OK?

Out of curiosity why would you want to do a 1-arm push-up.

For the hell of it, actually. Just a goal like any other.

It is a fantastic neural drive exercise. It will improve all pressing motions. Better than single arm dumbbell presses (supine). peace,z

Not to mention you look like a super bad-ass. Since a lot of dudes who can press a whole lot more weight can’t do one-arm push ups.

You’d be suprised how hard it is to bang out 5 one armed push ups with each arm.

Another progression scheme:

Start with limited ROM, and slowly work into full ROM. That can easily be done by placing some pillows under your chest when doing one arm pushups, and over time use less/thinner pillows.

I like this method of progression better than hand elevation.

loco, thanks…I think that will suit me better.

But does this mean you keep the arm to the side instead of in the center of your body?

I have found that for me it works best if I place my supporting hand at shoulder height and stick my elbow out almost at a right angle. I also use a slightly asymmetrical foot positioning. I think you just have to fool around with different hand/foot placements to see what fits you best. In their respective publications, Pavel and Furey demonstrate quite different ways of executing a one arm pushup, so there doesn’t seem to be a “one size fits all” approach. But if you place your supporting hand straight below your chest, your ROM will be very restricted.

If you can already do one rep with satisfactory technique, you might as well disregard my former progression tips and just do some singles before your other pushing exercises. If you keep doing this several times a week (if your recovery can take it, even daily), then you will be doing them for reps within a month.

Like ME days for westside, you could do one push up for every 3-5 mins for 8-10 reps total. Just focus on the form. You could shift weight to one side while keeping both hands on the floor for more reps. I used to be able to do it even though I didn’t bench that much, just tons of push ups but later on when I benched a ton, i couldnt even do one arm push up. That was a long time ago and I didn’t know why it was like that. Those olympic gymnastic men probably can crank out one arm push ups more than all of us together!

Where do you keep the pressing hand? Is it in the center or in the same place it would be if you were pressing with two hands?

Can I read about the Furey 1-arm push-up online somewhere?

I can do a single, but it’s not pretty. I think partials, isometrics, eccentrics are probably a good idea. Doing them on stairs feels very akward.

Here’s an idea for progression- how 'bout using a Smith machine? Lock the bar at a higher position for your pressing hand and as you get stronger, lock the bar at lower and lower positions.
Ha- at least one thing a Smith machine is good for…

A more detailed description of my hand/foot placement:

  • my supporting arm is placed almost like in normal pushups
  • the other hand is in the small of my back
  • the foot on the same side as the supporting arm is placed on an imaginary parallel line to my spine running through the supporting hand (i. e. straight below the supporting arm)
  • the foot on the other side is placed more off-center (test how far out you have to go - if you’re “top-heavy” you might have to use a very asymmetrical placement to avoid toppling over)

But as I said before, I’m not sure whether that will work for you as well.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any online pics of Pavel/Furey doing the one arm pushup. In “Combat Conditioning”, Furey places his supporting hand right below his face and uses an asymmetrical foot positioning. In “Naked Warrior”, Pavel places his supporting hand at lower chest height beside his body with his elbow pointing straight down to his toes, his foot placement is totally symmetrical.

The Furey way seems to put a lot of stress on the elbow, that’s why I don’t do it. When I try Pavel’s setup, I just topple over - my weight distribution is different.

There’s an article on bodyweight exercises by Mike Mahler where he demonstrates one arm pushups, but he puts his feet against power rack posts for stability.

This may sound retarded, but I became interested in one arm push-up after seeing a DragonBallZ episode where Vegeta pumps them out at 300x Earth’s gravity.

Anyway, to the learning curve. You want to start out by supporting yourself with the free arm and leaning your body to the side of the pushing arm - elbow right next to(rubbing againtst) the torso). That makes it much, MUCH easier. Make sure you contract your torso and DO NOT push with the free arm, use it for balance only. First your torso will fall in on the way up but in two weeks or so you’ll notice dramatic improvements. I was able to pump out 30 1-arm push-ups after a few months of practicing them 3 times a week. These things are great for the triceps and get your midsection in top shape too. The obliques get hit MADLY after a few sets, I kid you not.

w2097, in what way does the other hand support?

Ok, here’s my progression in it’s entirety(you must be able to do at least 30 regular push-ups):

Do two-handed pushups butrelax one of the arms and let the other carry the weight. In other words if someone were to look at you, they’d think you’re doing a regular pushup. When in fact one of the arms is doing about 70-90% of the work. This is the only simple step so it’s best to learn to do 20 clean reps with the free arm almost completely relaxed.

Phase#2 Side 1arm pushup
Let’s assume you’re doing the right side first. Lay on your right side of the body so that the left shoulder is facing up. Now try to do a 1Arm pushup with your body positioned this way. This phase isn’t very difficult and should greatly motivate you since you’re technically already doing single handed pushups. Again, 20 clean reps is good.

Phase#3(what I was talking of in the previous post)
After you’re fine with the above try to turn your body more and more towards the normal stomach-facing-floor position while using the free hand and the left leg(assuming you’re doing the right hand pushup) to assist. You can use the wall, the couch, the floor…whatever you feel comfortable with. But use the free hand for balance only. A good way to prevent cheating is to either use only one finger for support and/or try and keep the free arm completely straight.

Final Phase:
The actual 1 arm pushup, facing floor, free arm behind the back. This one shouldn’t me that difficult after completing the above.

Essential guidelines:

  • As paradoxical as it may seem, do not try to contract the triceps or chest too much, it’ll get you nowhere. Trust me, your tris and pecs will contract almost automatically(so just keep them at usual tightness). Instead contract your midsection, legs, the working forearm and grip. Your crotch will have a tendency to drop down so contracting the abs and lower body is essential.

  • Do not, DO NOT go to failure. Failure is what inexperienced young men do because they think more is better. To learn 1arm pushups you have to practice them three times a week or so. Therefore you can’t afford to have your recovery rates drop so much.

Well, I’m horrible when it comes to explaining this stuff so I hope the pics will help. Good luck. And remember, it’s not at all difficult and only takes a few weeks to learn.