Learn how to Complete a 1 Hand Push-up

Published February 4, 2014 by Mildred Fernandes

Proper 1 Hand Pushup Skill

Understanding the proper technique that needs to be used for a 1 hand push-up can help you learn the best method to generate the toughness needed to finish single arm push ups.  I will start with outlining one arm pushup technique.  Then I’ll provide a conditioning regimen to help you progressively develop the strength necessary to get better at the exercise.  

The secrets to learning the one hand push up quickly is to be aware of the areas of tension within your body when you carry out the exercise and keeping your balance all the way through.  

Most people who carry out one arm push-ups spread their legs pretty wide.  This makes it easier to keep balance when you complete the exercise; however, it is better form to keep your legs closer to shoulder width while keeping your hips square to the floor..  The non-pressing arm needs to be held near to your body with your hand behind your back or on your hamstring.  This will also help you manage your center of gravity.  

The tension in your body extends from your pressing arm to the opposite foot..  For instance, when you are pressing with your right hand then the tension moves through your right hand across your body to the left foot.  You will observe as you work toward your first one arm pushup that when pressing using your right hand, your right foot is going to have less weight on it than your left foot.

To obtain the complete range of flexion for this physical exercise you must lower your pressing shoulder until it virtually touches the floor.  You are going to need to turn you head from your pressing arm or look as much as get your shoulder that close to the floor with out smashing your nose.

As with all push up variations, you have to hold your body rigid as well as your shoulders, hips, and feet need to be on the same plane.  In short, do not drop your hips or put your butt up.. 

Creating Strength for a One Hand Pushup

Creating the strength needed to achieve your initial full range 1 arm push up can take a little while, but it is undoubtedly an achievable goal and by following this program you are going to see improvement relatively quickly which will help keep you determined to achieve success.

The progression I am about to show you comes from an outstanding book called Convict Conditioning. This book, authored by Paul Wade, is a great book that describes the way to develop functional strength and remarkable power employing absolutely nothing but your body weight.  As the title suggests this book was written whilst Paul was serving time and it’s based on his experience not just in establishing his own strength but also while instruction other convicts.  This book is an intriguing read and Wade supplies a special and refreshing perspective on what it means to really be strong and powerful.  I highly suggest checking out this book.  

The 1 arm pushup progression

Note that the book lays out 10 steps for achieving mastery of the one hand pushup.  I am only referring to the last six steps of the progression for one arm push ups.

The very first objective is to be able to do 2 sets of 20 standard pushups.  As soon as you can do this, you want to start practicing diamond pushups where your index and thumb are touching as you total the exercise.  As soon as you can do two sets of 20 diamond pushups, move on to uneven pushups where one arm is elevated forcing you to put more weight on the fully outstretched arm.  Soon after this you’ll be able to move to half one arm push-ups which means lowering yourself only halfway down before pressing up.  After performing two sets of 20 of these for each and every arm then you’ll be able to move to full 1 arm pushups.