Okay, first you need motivation.
There, now your ready to begin your one-arm pushup training. The one-arm pushup actually require an unrealistic amount of strength, but people are certainly impressed by it. Most adult males would be able to accomplish the one arm pushup with a little bit of focused training. Here I’ll outline a brief progression that you can use. You don’t have to do them in order, and it is certainly possible to train with multiple exercises at once, however, I am arranging them in order of my own perceived difficulty.
Two Arm Pushup
While its true that training for two arm pushups doesn’t directly translate into doing a one-armed pushup (stamina vs. 1 rep max), don’t you think is makes sense to have a good baseline level of strength? I do. If you can’t crank out 20-30 pushups, I’d focus here first. Having the stamina, balance, and strength to do 30 pushups will help you perform the other exercises.
Two Arm Pushup with Feet Elevated
When you raise your feet up, more weight is focused over your chest, and each pushup of this variety requires greater strength. Train this technique until you can get 15-20 in a set.
Touch your index fingers and thumbs together to form a diamond, place your hands on the ground below your heart, and then do pushups. With clean form, the “diamond” will touch your heart. This exercise focuses on your triceps muscle, and will also get you used to the motion of a one-arm pushup. Train this up to 15-20 reps as well.
One Arm – Chest Elevated
By raising the chest off the ground, we are placing more weight on our feet, making this variety of one armed pushups easier. Taking this to the extreme, you could do it up against a wall with one hand. Don’t get disheartened when you are working on this exercise, your almost there! Performing it on a bench like I am doing below really isn’t that much easier than doing it on the flat ground — you still have to balance, and it still takes a solid amount of strength. Be sure to spread your legs apart for balance.
One Arm – Knee Pushups
Personally, I skipped this step. I found knee pushups to be uncomfortable, and I would much rather struggle through a one arm pushup with bad form than a pushup from my knees! I list it here as an option though.
One Arm Pushup
Balance is the key. Spread your legs apart, and experiment with different hand placements. Yes, you need to have a certain level of strength, but if you have been training the other exercises, you probably have enough to at least get a partial rep (one where you don’t go down all the way). Train partial reps until you get the strength and balance to go deeper. Also, as you are trying this out, you may want to put a mat underneath you or at least keep your spare hand ready to help out in case you get stuck (or “crash” to the ground). When you finally get here, let me be the first to say, “Congratulations, you made it!”.
I noticed that my progress came in bursts, so try not to get discouraged. The biggest thing with the one-armed pushup is to keep trying, and stay motivated by the end result!