We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a One Arm Push up?

By D. Messmer
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A one arm push up is a compound exercise that requires far more strength and balance than a standard push up using two arms. To perform the exercise, the athlete starts in a plank position but supports himself or herself with only one arm. The athlete then lowers the body toward the ground, then pushes it back up again. This exercise primarily strengthens the chest and triceps muscles. It also benefits the stabilizer muscles in the arms, chest and abdomen, and it provides a slight benefit for the legs.

There are two variations of the one arm push up. The first and most common is a one arm push up with the arm out. In this variation, the arm that is performing the push up will be farther away from the body than it would be in a standard push up. It is not directly underneath the body, so it will provide less support for the upper torso. To counteract this, the legs will be much wider than shoulder width apart.

With the legs in this position there will be a tension that runs from the supporting arm through the body and into the opposite leg. The other leg helps to provide balance, but the opposite leg and hand will support most of the weight during the one arm push up. Feeling this tension is crucial because it is the athlete's ability to use his or her arm and opposite leg to counteract this tension that will provide the necessary balance to perform the exercise.

Once an athlete achieves this balance, he or she can bend the arm to lower the body toward the floor. Once the chest is close to the floor, the athlete pushes with the arm to raise the body back to the original position. The athlete can then repeat the process for any number of repetitions before switching to the other arm.

The other variation of the one arm push up is to keep the arm close to the body in a manner that is similar to a two arm push up. This will allow the legs be closer together, too. The tension between the arm and the opposite leg will still exist. The legs are closer together, though, so they do not combine with the hand to form as broad of a triangle as they did in the previous variation. As a result, the balancing leg is not able to help the athlete's balance as much.

The result is that this version of the one arm push up is more difficult than the arm-out version. Both variations work the same muscles, but the stabilizing muscles in the arm-in variation have to work a lot harder. Both versions, though, provide a far more intense workout than two arm push ups, because the individual arm essentially has to push twice as much weight.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.