Progression to One-Handed Push-ups

How to do One-Handed Push-ups

So you want to learn how to do a one-handed push-up hu? That’s awesome! One-handed push-ups are KILLER tricep bodyweight workouts. Before you can do one-handed push-ups though, you’ll need to master Perfect From Push-Ups. By master, I mean you should be able to do at least 3 sets of 30, and/or 50-100 consecutive push-ups with good form. There are lots of ways you can progress posted online, but I personally have been able to progress with just one step.

Before we get into this, I’d just like to say that these past two weeks have been great and all covering the basics, but I’m excited to be moving on to the more fun and challenging stuff, and I hope you too are excited! I hope to eventually cover more advanced workouts such as unassisted handstand push-ups and maybe one day, one-handed handstand push-ups.

In my progression, I used assisted one-handed push-ups as my progression step. These are fairly simple provided you’ve got perfect push-ups down. All you need is a basketball or some short, rigid structure (a brick or wooden box or something might work). A basketball or medicine ball will work best though.

This video was the best I could find to demonstrate how it’s done. In the video, he is only using one finger, go ahead and use your whole hand. He claims that working fingers off of the ball assisted his progression, and once you only need one figure to assist, you’ll be close enough to where you don’t need the ball. This is probably true, I just didn’t think about it while I was doing it. I just kept pushing until I could complete one unassisted, then from one, I got to two, and so on. Remember to stretch! When progressing to a new move, stretching is important because you are likely to have bad form or overwork yourself, you can do all you can try to and avoid bad form, but when you are so close to completely it, it’s easy to let loose on your form, greatly increasing chance of injury.

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Posted in Calisthenics, Intermediate Calisthenics
2 comments on “Progression to One-Handed Push-ups
  1. Stone says:

    You don’t mention the position of the feet and/or the hand that is doing the pushing. Isn’t it true that a REAL one-handed pushup should be done with feet together? At least it’s a lot harder doing it that way.
    I think Paul Wade, author of Convict Conditioning, defines a one-handed pushup very well. He has a complete series of progressions, but for me the progression from the uneven psuhup (with a ball) to the 1/2 one-hand pushup is way too hard. Any suggestions?

    • Alex says:

      Stone,

      Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! You’re correct, REAL one-handed push-ups should be done with feet together, this post however is for a progression to one-handed push-ups. I’ve yet to make a follow-up post on real one-handed push-ups, but it’s on my list and it’ll be here soon!

      As for the difficulty you’re experiencing, I actually had the same problem when I was using Convict Conditioning as a guide (which it’s a great guide), spreading your legs apart helped me get past that plateau. Once you can do it with your legs spread apart, start to bring them closer together util you can do it with them together.

      Hope that helps!

      Alex

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