The 1-Arm Pushup


Whether you’re still in awe of Jack Palance’s one-arm Oscar display, just watched Rocky again, or are simply looking to perfect the ultimate show-off move, chances are the last time you hit the floor to knock out a few one-arm pushups, you fell flat on your face. But your problem isn’t strength-it’s lack of skill, and it only takes a rep at a time to hone it.

Use a bench, step, table, or wall, so that your pushup is done on an incline (this makes it a lot easier). Get into pushup position with one hand on the surface and spread your feet wide apart. Tense your entire body and hold your free hand tight against your lower back [1]. Lower your body slowly until your chest nearly touches, then explode up to the starting position [2]. That’s one rep.

Repeat the rep on the other side and then go on with your day. In a few hours, drop down and perform another rep. Repeat the process a few more times-do this five to seven days a week. Performing perfect reps when you’re fresh builds good form (skill) in an exercise, which will later translate into greater strength and endurance. When you can perform five total reps on each side in one day, lower the elevation you use, eventually moving down to the floor.

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