How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

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  1. Consider looking at weight training for transitioning to one-armed push-ups. I can tell you my own personal story regarding this (which might just be anecdotal evidence, but you will see that logically it makes sense).
    I could do around 50 push ups but was yet to be able to perform a single one-armed push up. In terms of build, I was lean, so the problem was not in excess body weight but lack of strength.
    I started weight training following the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe. The program included Squats, Deadlifts, Press and Bench Press. Within a few months, I could bench press 65 kg for 5 reps which was about my body weight. A bench press of 65 kg is in no way a good feat of strength. However, once I had achieved that, I tried a one-armed push-up and was successful! In fact, I could belt out 3 – 4 reps easily, with either hand.
    Based on my experience, I would say that if a person can bench press their own body weight, they are capable of doing a one-arm push-up.
    The difference between a bench press and a regular push up is that when you are performing a bench press with the bar + weights adding up to your own body weight, you are actually lifting those many kilograms. The entire weight is supported by your arms and chest.
    However, if you are performing a regular push-up, you are not moving your entire body weight. Part of your body weight is supported by your feet, where they touch the ground. Your arms are only lifting a fraction of your body weight. Since you are working with a lower weight and higher reps, you aren’t increasing your strength and instead, you are increasing your endurance.
    An added factor is that a one-arm push up requires not just strength in the triceps and chest but also solid core muscles to help maintain your body steady. The compound exercises that I performed regularly in Starting Strength trained my core to be stronger and that helped.

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  2. I wouldn’t say that there’s a set number of pushups you should be able to do before you can move on. Like any exercise, the more you practice it, the better off you’ll be. As you see an increase in your strength and endurance, attempt a one-armed pushup. In time, the more you practice one-armed pushups, the better you’ll become at them.

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  3. TL;DR: at least 2x 20, better would be 30-35 for 2-3 sets
    Warning: Certain push-up variation can be extremely rough on the shoulders, elbows and wrists. If you feel any pain in your joints, discontinue the exercise immediately. Should the pain persist, get treatment and look for alternatives.
    The most important thing to keep in mind is the following: A one-armed push-up isn’t simply ‘twice as hard’ as a normal push-up. It’s a whole lot harder for a host of reasons.
    1. When you’re doing an OAPU, you’re not just carrying the same weight as a normal PU on one arm, you’re also moving the load of the arm that’s not pushing.
    2. The core and back muscles needed to keep your body aligned in all plains need to be trained and developed properly before you can even stabilize your torso adequately.
    3. Your left and your right arm are not the same strength, which means in a normal push-up, your stronger arm will always do a little more work. Ergo, one limb will need significantly more work to get up to par.
    The reason why I recommend around 30 normal PU as a basis for continuing can be seen in this chart (courtesy of ):

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    ​Essentially, if you’re capable of doing 30 reps of an exercise, you have the theoretical
    capability of doing 1 rep at twice the weight. You will need this as a starting point before you can move on to working on the much more challenging OAPU.
    Diamond push-ups

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    Get into a standard push-up position. Move your hands together to the center line of your body, and do push-ups. Some people like to form a diamond with their hands (tips of fingers pointing to each other, and thumbs touching) but just forming a triangle is good.
    Do asymmetrical push-ups which load your arms unevenly as further intermediate steps.
    Uneven Push-ups

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    Uneven push-ups are a great way to start lateralizing, as they force one arm to do most of the work, but still allow the other to provide some support.
    Get into a standard push-up position, then place a medicine or basketball (or even a sturdy box that is below knee height) just wider than the shoulder of your supporting arm. Place your supporting hand on top of the ball/box, and do push-ups in this position. Keep mind that your torso should remain horizontal from shoulder to shoulder.

    From there, progress to
    Archer Push-Ups/Self-assisted Push-ups

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    The difference between uneven and archer push-ups is in the amount of assistance the ​supporting arm provides. Holding it out and away from the body, in line with your shoulder, puts it at a huge mechanical disadvantage, severely limiting its contribution. For this variation, it is acceptable to splay your feet a little. Don’t go overboard, though. Around shoulder-wide is probably best, some individuals being more comfortable with a slightly narrower stance than other. Experiment a little.

    Place the supporting hand on an increasingly higher object to increase the workload of your active arm. Towards the end, the ‘non-working’ arm becomes little more than a stability aid.

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    Once you are proficient at these, the full one-armed push-up comes naturally.

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    Get into a standard push-up position, and tuck one of your arms behind your back. Unlike the image shown (which is an ideal) you are allowed, even encouraged, to keep your feet apart a little. Do not allow your hips to twist. A wide stance and clean push-ups are better than twisting or tilting your hips. Also make sure that your working arm is nice and close to your body.
    Perform one-armed push-ups.
    ​If you’re still having trouble with the OAPU at this point, focus on doing negatives. Lower yourself slowly in the OAPU position, then push back up with both arms, lift the other arm off the ground and lower yourself again. You’ll soon get the hang of it.
    Eventually, you can practice doing these with your feet raised on a couch.
    The last image is just for motivational purposes:

    How many push-ups should I be able to do before moving on to one-armed push-ups?

    The legend, Bruce Lee, performing a one-arm push-up on a merely a finger and a thumb.
    And finally, don’t just practice upper body pushing. For good shoulder health, proper development and good posture, be sure to do some pull-ups too.
    (images from Speed and Google )
    Keep your legs aligned properly, and always maintain form.
    Good luck!

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  4. Well practically speaking you can just train to do one arm pushups from the beginning. You need not necessarily do regular pushups. But that wont be logical or healthy/helpful from a general fitness point of view.
    You can’t just reach a specific count as you would be able to take one arm pushups with your strong hand quite early than your weaker hand.
    For me, I was able to take one arm pushup using right arm, [my strong arm] while I was doing around 30 regular pushups and with my left arm when I was doing 42-45 regular pushups.

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  5. To reach your first 1-arm pushup I say you should be able to do at least 40 in one set with strict form.
    But the rep count isn’t the only factor. Core stability is equally, if not more important. I was able to do 50 regular pushups but could not even do one eccentric-only 1-arm pushup. Although I never directly trained to do the single-arm version, when I eventually did try them I and succeeded I could already do:
    3 sets of 25 regular pushups
    1-arm (tripod) plank (hold for 2 min per side)
    Able to bench body weight for at least 3 reps.
    Even then, my first few 1-arm pushups were shaky. You really need to focus on the entire body, especially your core muscles. Elbow cannot be flaired and should point back. It helps if the feet are at least shoulder width apart as well. Always use strict form and train with full range of motion (chest should touch the floor).
    Good luck!!!

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  6. Regular push ups don’t really trade slate well onto one handed push up. Even if you have the endurance to do 50 you may not have the strength to do it single handed. If you can do 15 regular push ups with propper technique you can start by moving into harder progressions such as Diamond push ups to build up more stench, once you can comfortably do 12 reps you can try archer push ups. These are really helpful to get to one handed push uos since they use similar muscles. If you’re having trouble progressing from archer to one handed try adding more weight. Just remember that lower reps with full range of motion are more important than high reps with sloppy technique.

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  8. There is no direct, consistent relationship between one armed push ups vs standard push-ups. I can do around 25 OHPU on each hand without any problems, but I tire out at around 60 and would struggle/fail to do 80 at once when it comes to standard push ups. It’s like comparing a sprint to a marathon, they’re two different things really after you meet the basic strength requirements to do them.

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  9. Glad you are trying to help him out.
    The technique I see that will work involves help from a friend.
    Without access to any equipment the only method for normal pushups for somebody two wrak to do even obe pushup also involves some one supporting a part of your bodyweight, just enough for the person to be able to push up and slowly go back down.
    For your friend as well this will work. And you mentioned he is athletic so maybe it would only take a few weeks of help.
    And if he has to do this exercise without help her can start by trying slanted pushup.,leaning on a wall and do push out and gradually increase the difficulty.
    If his core is too weak to support the pushup position. Strengthening his and and core with sit-ups.
    Calisthenics is a form of exercise that uses only body weight check that out as well

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  10. Well you have to develop core strength and arm body- heres a website check either one strength;_ylt=A0SO80l_uI1VGVMAvWtXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyYjk1Z2swBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjAzNDBfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=how+to+do+a+pushup+with+one+arm+%2B& heres a video just click the link hope it helps.

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  11. Update: Here is a great link
    Great answers from other people.
    My experience is that the OAPU is a completely different beast to normal push-up and thus the number of standard push-ups you need to be able to do an OAPU is not that relevant (I can do somewhere between 20 – 40 in a single set). I also did not find using the various progressions as laid out in for example Convict Conditioning overly helpful. The OAPU is all about full body tension and your need a solid hollow position (from a push-up plank position). Instead of working on the different variations such as diamond or uneven push-ups, try working the the actual OAPU exercise but decrease the leverage by elevating your hands on a chair or table or similar. Work on full body tension at the top and bottom positions and do negatives. Make sure you kick your hip over to the working side (when learning this I went from zero reps at chair elevation to 2 solid reps from the floor – thank you Aleks Salkin !).
    The same principle (doing the actual exercise starting with decreased leverage) can be applied to most body weight and gymnastic type exercises instead of doing other exercises (e.g. diamond -> uneven -> archer -> etc) that leads you to the final version of the particular exercise.
    For great information on the OAPU check out Pavel’s Naked Warror and visit the StrongFirst bodyweight Forums.

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