T Nation

One Arm Push Ups and Core


Well, i have a little problem with my core muscles strength/stability in one arm push ups. I believe that i can push much more with my arms and chest but i can't create a proper body tension.
In basic push up position i feel a lot stability, but when i lift e.g. my left arm up (so that is now one arm ps position) my '6-pack' muscles immediately SLIDE from centar to right side.
So when i press up there is a lot of Twist motion in my trunk..

My questions is:
What kind of 'core-pattern' is included in one arm position? (anti-flexion, anti-extension, or anti-rotation)
And what is actually my problem, is it maybe a lazy obliques ?


They require a combination of anti extension and anti rotation. It could be loads of things; most like, it is a lack of intramuscular coordination, i.e. you just need to learn the movement. start here:



Thanks, i read that article and every other few times. And it's one of the most relevant for sure..

In the past i was practised a lot of basically one arm push up position holds for 15-30 seconds with leg width manipulation, and some alternate one arm planks... That do some job for first months but still my core immediately slide from side to side depend by which of my arms is raised.
I guess there is a compensation in my core, something is not work properly and i must improve that to improve my form.

So what type of core training would be appropriate in this situation? Some anti-extension and anti-rotation work?
Any suggestions would be great.


You improve this by working on getting a one arm pushup. Core stability is almost almost the limiting factor - the good news is that it gets better by going through the progressions. Anything that challenges you muscles also builds them. The first one won't be pretty. It doesn't have to be. Get to one, then two - when you can do a few in a row, start to clean up your technique.


I was never really good at these. My trick was shifting my balance/weight onto whatever arm I was pushing with. If I was planking, as if I was doing a regular pushup, I wouldn't be able to do it. I guess that's cheating though. Whatever. It was done to impress chicks.


There is a technique to the one arm pushup, and various progressions you can try.
If you can borrow a copy of pavel's naked warrior dvd he goes over it pretty thoroughly.
While you need a certain degree of core strength, the key is to keep the body (neck-to calf) tight constantly throughout the movement (particularly on the side opposite the pressing arm). if you break tension you collapse. I found it helped initially to place the free-hand gripping my outer thigh on the same side.