- Exercise & Fitness
How To Master One-Arm Push Ups - Part 2
So you still haven't mastered the one-arm push up yet?
I know it's a difficult strength exercise that's going to take time to perfect, so you don't want to rush into it.
Let me teach you another exercise that you can use to help bring you closer to completing full reps of one-arm push ups on flat ground.
This exercise is going to utilize isometric holds to help you build up your strength at your weakest point.
The Basics of Isometrics
I want to quickly go over what isometric exercises are so that you better understand what you're going to be doing.
An isometric exercise is an exercise where you contract your muscle but you don't go through the range of motion for the exercise, you stay still.
These are static contractions.
So you stay in one position, usually the most difficult spot of the movement, and you tighten your muscles and "squeeze" while you hold that position.
This will increase your strength at specific joint angles.
Since it's most difficult to push up off the ground, once you're halfway through the one-arm push up motion, that's the position you're going to do this exercise in. So let's get started with the exercise.
Isometric One-Arm Push ups
Go ahead and get warmed up first; stretch and maybe do a few push ups to get your blood pumping to the right area.
Now what you'll want to do is get into the one-arm push up position; the position you'd be at at the bottom of the movement. If you don't know what position this is, click the link up top to go read part 1 or just look at the picture above.
When you're just starting out with this exercise your chest will be on the ground, but as you improve you should be able to do an isometric hold with your chest just barely touching the ground.
So go ahead and lie on your stomach and get into position. Keep your whole body tense and push, but don't leave the ground! You may only be able to do this for a few seconds at first but that's ok, work your way up.
I would do 4 sets of 20 seconds on each arm for a month before I decided to lengthen the time. Even then I only went up to 35 seconds. Just make sure to give yourself rest in between sets so that your body is fresh.
You want your whole body tight and solid as you do these. So look for weak areas and try to work on tightening those areas of your body.
You want to keep the tension steady but you don't want to go all out. Don't go until you can't manage to hold it anymore. Pick a time and stick to that.
Now you have two exercises that will help you work your way up to true one-arm push ups! Take your time and stick to your workouts and you'll be there before you know it. If you want to learn more bodyweight techniques, pick up a copy of the Naked Warrior; it's the book that helped me master the move.