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How to Achieve the One-Armed Pushup?


I'm working on developing a good formed one arm pushup, and I'm hitting a plateau and wanted to know whether my exercises are of the correct difficulty.

I'm trying to follow a "grease the groove" program, by doing the following:
4 reps of one-armed pushups from the knees. 5-6 sets spread throughout the day.

I have tried a full one-armed pushup from my feet, but cannot quite complete a full controlled negative. At about five inches from the ground I crumble.

So the question is:
Will continuing to add reps and sets to my one-armed pushups from knees eventually give me the strength to jump to one-armed pushups from feet?
Or should I try my hardest to just do these partial one-armed pushup negatives from feet, hoping eventually I'll get the strength to complete a full rep?

Thanks for your advice


For my own 2 cents, I found that getting my bench press above 120kg seemed to be istrumental in getting a one armed push up. As soon as that happened I found I could suddenly do them.


I just had to check if i could do one myself :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah, because of the angle of the body i'd say that working your triceps would really help, close grip bench pressing would be good. For bodyweight stuff, i'd try maybe doing a pushup with one hand out wide, trying to favour the one arm underneath you. Maybe try negatives favouring one arm with the other arm out wide, then sort of move your body towards the other hand and push up with both? Also, doing close grip pushups (hands touching) would work the same muscles.

I don't know how i'd go about progressing with that, I think both of the methods you mentioned will work. Good luck


Thanks for the tips.

I will try the benchpress tip. My current benchpress is at around 150 pounds, so perhaps my triceps is still the limiting factor.

I don't have easy access to a gym though, so I would prefer a bodyweight exercise instead.



When I was teaching myself to do one-armed pushups a few years ago I started with negatives, finding which muscles came into play the most for me (which was mostly my anterior delts). Then I started doing them leaning against a wall, really focusing on getting my shoulder to do the work. Eventually, I was able to do one clean rep on the ground as well. After that, it was just doing multiple singles until I could do doubles, then triples, etc...
I hadn't tried for a year or so but the other night I was pounding them out at a party to impress some girl... so I guess it sticks with you ;]


When I was first able to do one-arm pushups I had a 1RM of about 165 on the bench... I also weighed about 145lbs. How much do you weigh?


Jim over at Beast Skills has put up a pretty good tutorial on the one arm push-up


although its good that your practice variations of the one armed pushup for neuro-muscular coordination in the exercise, If you can't complete 1 full rep then I think you just need to increase your pec/delt/tricep strength. IMO the best way to do this ME benchpressing.. I guarantee once you've increased your bench 100 lbs, you WILL be able to do 1 armed pushups


Increase bench press. Increase core strength.



I'm sitting at 155 pounds right now, and my benchpress 1RM is 160 pounds, so it's very likely that I need to get that up. I shall work on that.

I read Jim's tutorial at Beast Skills and it's been very helpful.

In the tutorial, Jim mentions three different type of one-armed pushups. I am able to do multiple reps of the "arm-out" variation. I find these quite a bit easier. My original goal was to start with these, and then gradually progress into the "arm-in" variation. But I found the two exercises are too different to be able to smoothly transition into each other.

There is another variation that I haven't heard anyone talk about yet though, and I've only seen one person do them. I call them "one-armed tricep pushups" since I don't know their real name. It starts like tricep pushups, where the two hands are forming a 'V', and the feet are less than shoulder width apart. Except you just remove one hand. These are my ultimate goal, but I'm still a long way from those.
Have you guys ever tried these?

Thanks for your help


Do you go to a gym?You just have to strengthen your triceps and front delts, nothing complicated. I suggest doing heavy singles with close grip BPs cause the mimic one arm push ups.

Also, the wider the foot position, THE EASIER IT GETS.