You may be struggling to build chest muscle despite all your bench presses and dumbbell presses.

But maybe the one-arm pushup can do something for you.

Why don’t you give it a try and find out? After all, it requires a unique pattern of neuromuscular recruitment to pull off.

When you see people performing the one-arm pushup, you may first think that it’s just a show move. And certainly, people who can do this are proud of the feat.

But a very heavy bench press may also be perceived as a show move, even though the person who’s doing it just simply wants to build a lot of visible muscle.

Though the one-arm pushup is one of those moves that’s often deemed a “Hey look at me!” move, can it actually be part of a muscle building program?

“Yes, a one-arm pushup can build visible muscles because of the resistance involved,” says Jennifer He, a NASM certified personal trainer based in New York City who specializes in women’s weight loss.

“Resistance forces your body to adapt to different changes in the body so that it can build stronger muscles for the next round.

“Without resistance, you will not see change to the body. However, a one-arm pushup is not advised until you can perform a regular pushup easily. This is to prevent injuries.”

And don’t fall into the trap of fooling yourself into thinking you can actually do one-arm pushups by adapting various cheat positions.

You must first master a complete set of military style pushups, then advance from there.

This can be done a number of ways, but the common denominator is that you need sturdy rotator cuff muscles and tendons, and a kick-butt core. And lots of diligence.

Don’t stop doing your bench pressing and other chest, shoulder and arm muscle building moves as you train with the one-arm pushup.

The one-arm pushup can be part of your muscle building regimen but can also be done as part of supersets or finishers.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 



Top image: Shutterstock/ Iammotos