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"1-Arm" Push-Up

"1-Arm" Push Up-Position 1 (Up)
"1-Arm" Push Up-Position 2 (Partial)
"1-Arm" Push Up-Position 3 (Down)
"1-Arm" Push Up-Position 4 (Up)

  1. Establish a wide base of support by splitting feet wide apart and placing hands wider than shoulder width.

  2. Carefully lift one hand while maintaining plank position as much as possible; attempt to keep shoulders square to ground.  Find your center or "sweet spot" where you have optimal body balance over the down arm and hand.

  3. Lower body while maintaining plank posture until chest is close to ground.

  4. Keep core braced and strong as you lift to preserve plank position and take excessive pressure off low back.

Exercise Figure Tips: "1-Arm Push-Ups" are the hardest of push-ups. They take an incredible amount of shoulder stability AND mobility plus extreme core strength. The trick to giving them a chance is to have really wide feet.

  • To work your way up to the full 1-Arm Push Up, start with T-Stability Push Ups then try the 1-Arm Brace or  1-Arm Negative Push Up.

  • The first time I tried one of these I fell on the ground!  My shoulders had no where near the stability needed to even begin. I began 1-Arm bracing then eventually started adding a little movement in my elbow until I could do a whole push-up. If you really like extreme challenge--the "1-Arm Push-Ups" are for you! Just be careful--do NOT exceed your capacity. You have to ease into these because they are so hard.  Be VERY careful--if your shoulders aren't ready for 1-Arm Push Ups, you can easily cause yourself serious injury!

  • Some people call 1-Arm Push Ups "high risk" and thus don't recommend them at all.  I don't go this far.  If you train for them properly with the correct progressions emphasizing shoulder stability, you should be able to do them--or at least a modified version like the negative.  1-Arm Push Ups are in fact "higher" risk but so are a lot of challenging exercises.  You must weigh the "risk to benefit" ratio for your own body and activity requirements and decide for yourself. 

*Note: This exercise is intended for "competitive athletes" only.  If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present,
see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

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(Updated 5.1.07)

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