There's one thing that can make any guy stop in his tracks and stare. Nope, not a tight butt, slim, toned arms or even a killer pair of heels -- it's the sight of you doing a one-arm pushup. Very, very few people can perform such a feat of strength and agility, and it's bound to turn a few heads in the gym. Whether you're proficient at one-arm pushups or just starting out, it's time you started incorporating them into your workouts.
Learning the One-Arm Push Up
First things first, you need to do standard pushups as jumping straight into the one-armed variety is sure to end in disaster. There's a four step process to learning full pushups and a further three steps to take you to the one-armed version, according to trainer Rusty Moore, author of "Visual Impact for Women." Start with pushups against a wall, then on your knees, then with your feet on the floor and hands on a bench before finally going to full pushups. From there go to close-grip push ups, then one-armed ones with your hands on a basketball or medicine ball, then you should be ready for a few one-armed ones.
Now you're a veritable Jedi of the one-armed pushup, step things up a gear. By now you're likely so good at busting out the reps that you find regular one-arm pushups child's play. Experiment with your hand close in to your body or wide out to the side, or be really clever and master the Bruce Lee-style one arms, one finger pushup, advises Jim Bathurst, personal trainer and owner of BeastSkills.com. Just make sure you've got a padded mat underneath you and a friend on hand to dial 911 should things take a turn for the worse.
You shouldn't stick solely to one-arm pushups. While this is guaranteed to possibly make you one-armed pushup world champion, it won't particularly do much for your physique as a whole. If you've been bitten by the body-weight training bug, stick with similar style moves such as chinups and pullups, clap pushups, and single-leg squats. You can do all of these without any weights and you don't need a gym, meaning you can bust out your fancy moves any time, anywhere.
When learning one-arm pushups, practice every day. While people might bang on about over-training and needing to rest a muscle group, where you're still getting to grips with the ins and outs of them, you're not causing enough damage to warrant taking days off from them. Stick to your normal routine and add in five minutes of practice every day. As you get better and your form improves, switch between upper body one-arm push up workouts and lower body sessions to give your muscles a chance to rest and recuperate. Aim for two upper body and two lower body sessions each week.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.