The One Arm Push Up
Push ups are one of the basic and most common exercises for the human body and subscribed by most health and fitness professionals. The push up targets and activates many muscles in particular the Pectorals, deltoids and abdominals.
You can vary push ups and challenge yourself by varying the speed, the frequency, the intensity and also the load (Put plates on your back) to keep the muscles guessing, growing and improving.
When you do push ups, you tend to rely on the stronger half of your body to do the pushing. The downside of this is that one side of your body (which is doing the majority of the lifting) is becoming stronger than the other, and this can lead to muscle imbalance. This in turn can affect posture and other muscles in the body causing you discomfort and sometimes pain if severe enough.
With the one arm push up, you do not get this problem. All your weight is going through the same muscle groups on both arms and the muscle balance will become more equal. Yes, they are difficult at first to do, but so are most things when you first come to do anything. A tip is to engage as many muscle groups as you can so that your body becomes rigid. A wide stance will help with the balance factor and allows your body weight to be distributed. The better you get at this, you will start to notice that your core becomes stronger and you can bring the stance in closer together.
Once you become comfortable with this and can do a few reps on each arm, challenge yourself and try to jump between arms (Right arm, left arm etc.). This will activate and strengthen the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints more meaning less chance of injury in these areas. It will also teach your core muscles and the smaller muscles in the body to activate during impact with the floor allowing you to get back up quicker.
As all the weight is going through the one arm and target the muscles groups more efficiently, meaning that growth of muscle and the strength of the muscle will improve faster.
From a rugby perspective this movement is the same as hand off or a stiff arm. Let’s say you weigh 200lb and you can do a 1 arm push up several times, lifting this weight several times will give you a big advantage once on the field (See the video below)