Posted May 15, 2012 by
A few weeks ago we posted on learning to do a pull-up. This post continues the series of learning challenges and shows the progression for a one arm push-up, a true feat of strength. If you think about it, you’re effectively executing a 70% bodyweight tricep press with one arm and that's very impressive.
Executing one arm push-up properly requires powerful triceps and chest, and a lot more. They build up your shoulders, and significantly strengthen the shoulder joint because of the added pressure exerted there (which is also why it’s important to build up to the exercise slowly). Your core gets a fantastic workout due to the shearing forces exerted by balancing your weight on two feet and one arm, similar to a moving one-arm plank. Similarly your legs and hips are engaged to hold your position throughout this difficult movement. So even if you are primarily interested in benching, going through the steps to achieve a one arm push-up builds strength that will assist you with many other aspects of your fitness training.
They way to master this exercise is to go through a progression of exercises, start with the easiest exercise on the following list that you can do, and practice it until you can bang out 30 repetitions with excellent form. Once you can do can do 30 perfect repetitions, move on to the next exercise. This is classic “progression training”. Here are the exercises in the one arm push-up progression, listed from easiest to most difficult, and also see the training challenge to help you record your progress.
Putting it all together: Start at the top of the list and slowly work your way through it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to build up the strength to complete 30 reps of an exercise, be it 2 weeks or 2 months. In fact it is better to progress slowly, because if you go too quickly and move on before you’ve really mastered an earlier exercise, you’ll most likely get stuck at a later point in the chain because you haven’t taken the time to build up your strength. Don't forget to join the training challenge to help you record your progress.
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