7 Step Progression for a One-Arm Push Up:
1) Choose your exercise.
You can choose any one arm push up exercise which is suitable for you. You can perform these exercises with or without weight, but it’s better if you use weights. Step
2) Choose your resistance level (1 – 10).
There are different levels of resistance for each step of the progression. For example, there are 5 levels of resistance for the first two steps of the progression. You need to choose appropriate resistance level according to your current strength level. Step
3) Choose your starting position (standing).
If you’re new to performing one arm push ups, then standing is best choice because it provides stability and allows you to focus on other muscles while doing the exercise. Step
4) Choose your finishing position (on floor).
If you’re new to performing one arm push ups, then on the floor is best choice because it provides stability and allows you to focus on other muscles while doing the exercise. Step
5) Choose your grip width (thumbs under palms).
When choosing your grip width, make sure that you don’t go too wide since it may cause pain when trying to do the exercise. Step
6) Choose your range of motion (from arms outwards).
All the way out is harder than 90 degrees because you use smaller muscles when moving your arms outwards. Step
7) Choose the number of reps (for example 8).
The number of reps affect how much weight you’re going to use. If you’re doing 8 reps, you probably won’t be able to do as heavy weight as if you’re doing 4 reps.
1. Training Guidelines
When you’re training, it is important to keep your mind in the present moment. Don’t worry too much about your next training session; just focus on the task at hand. If you are new to one arm push ups then you should take a few minutes to learn and understand how to do the exercise properly. Watch yourself in a mirror so that you can correct your mistakes.
If you are training with weight, then warm up first. This means that you should do some lighter sets before your heavy work set. A good rule of thumb is to warm up with a weight that you can perform for 10-12 reps. After warming up, reduce the weight by 20% and do 3-4 work sets of 8-12 reps. If you feel good, then you can train another body part or maybe even add an extra one arm push up set!
Rest is very important so don’t skip it. After a heavy set, you should rest at least 3-5 minutes before your next set. If you’re feeling tired or worn out then it’s best to take an extra day of rest and come back stronger. Remember that strength training is a marathon not a sprint. Incorporate at least one day of rest between each training session.
It’s also a good idea to have a proper diet in order to gain the most benefit from your training. Make sure that you are eating enough calories and incorporating protein into your diet. Also, as a weightlifter, you might want to take some multivitamins and eat foods rich in iron.
2. Warm Up
Take a light weight that you can easily lift at least 10 times and do some easy movements with it. These movements could include just lifting the weight to various positions or swinging the weight back and forth. The most important thing is to just get your muscles warmed up.
3. One Arm Push Up Specific Warm Up
Now you’re ready to start training. Take a moderate weight that you can lift for at least 10 repetitions. Make sure that you can lift the weight without struggling. Now do a set of 6-12 repetitions. If you can easily do more than 12 repetitions then next time you can increase the weight.
If you can’t do 6 repetitions, then next time you should use less weight.
4. One Arm Push Up Training
Pick a weight that allows you to do at least 5 repetitions. Now do a set of 6-10 repetitions and continue to add weight until you stall out at 5 or less reps for 2 consecutive sessions. Once you’ve hit this plateau, add more weight to reach the original criteria of 8-12 repetitions (adding weight if you can do more than 12, using a lighter weight if you consistently do less than 8). Once you’ve hit this second plateau, it’s time to move on to another exercise.
5. One Arm Push Up Variation
Once you’ve become proficient in the standard one arm push up, it’s time to move on to some variations. Remember that different techniques may be more appropriate for different people, so don’t just stick with one variation. Continue to try new things out and see what works best for you. Explore all of the different hand positions such as wider, narrower, or even with the thumb around the fingers. You might try raising your feet off of the ground or doing the push ups on an unstable surface (like a physio ball).
You could even try leaning forward or backward or side to side in different directions. Basically, experiment and have fun!
Well, that’s it! You now know how to become an expert in the one arm push up. I wish you the best of luck in your training. If you have any questions, I encourage you to seek out the advice of a trainer at your local gym or look for answers online. There is a wealth of knowledge out there for the taking, you just have to go get it!
Sources & references used in this article:
Scapular muscle activity from selected strengthening exercises performed at low and high intensities by CH Andersen, MK Zebis, C Saervoll… – The Journal of …, 2012 – journals.lww.com
Kinetic analysis of push-up exercises: a systematic review with practical recommendations by W Dhahbi, H Chaabene, A Chaouachi… – Sports …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis
A systematic literature review of the resistance exercises that promote maximal muscle activity of the rotator cuff in normal shoulders by HH McIlwain, DF Bruce – 2003 – Macmillan
8-year follow-up of randomized trial: cytoreduction and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy versus systemic chemotherapy in patients with peritoneal … by C Ganderton, T Pizzari – Shoulder & Elbow, 2013 – journals.sagepub.com
Effect of functional resistance training on muscular fitness outcomes in young adults by S Colberg-Ochs – 2005 – Da Capo Lifelong Books