How to Do One Arm Pushups

Jan 4, 2021

Regular pushups are not the best exercise out there when it comes to building strength in the arms, shoulders, and chest. They are good in small doses for accomplishing certain goals such as in boxing where the fighter must keep his arms up for extended periods of time. In the military setting though, there is very little use for them outside of punishment.

On the other hand, the one arm pushup does serve as an excellent strength builder for those in uniform. The required high tension and neuromuscular recruitment is right up the soldiers ally. This is no small feat. Go rent Rocky IV to get motivated and hit the deck!

The one arm push-up starts with you in the front leaning rest balanced on one hand; the other is tucked into your belt in the small of your back (or just hold it there). Your feet are spread shoulder width apart. Now, for most this is where the fun stops and they fall on their faces like fish. Time for high tension!

  • Grip the ground
  • Tighten and flex every muscle in your arm
  • Flex your lats, especially the side you are pressing on
  • Brace your abs and squeeze your glutes
  • Flex every muscle in your legs. Imagine trying to squeeze them together and pulling all of the muscles up into your pelvis at the same time

Now your entire body is as rigid as an Oak two by four.

  • PULL yourself down, don’t drop and try to catch yourself, it won’t work.
  • Add more tension and power by imagining that you are turning your fingers out. In conjunction with this and your lat, SCREW yourself into the ground. Sounds funny but it works.
  • Keep your elbow close to the body.

Some folks like to try and look at their hand, others away. Its up to you. If this is still too hard for you, try placing your other arm on a KB or DB at full arms extension for balance and a little bit of help. For those who can handle this drill fairly well, try lifting the opposite leg. Enjoy!