1-arm push-ups for weaklings like me.

In my older age, I tend to think more about what I can do to make my body a better physical machine rather than simply making my muscles bigger.  I’ve gravitated from bench press to to 1-arm push-ups.  Unfortunately, I’ve let my upper body go and can’t even generate a 1-arm push-up,…not even a sloppy one.

So in my quest to do one, I’ve added this progression to my exercise regimen:


Why 1-arm push-ups?  They are an opportunity to strengthen and promote the co-contraction of both the core and shoulder stabilizers.  What’s the use of developing your chest muscles if you can’t coordinate their use with the rest of the body?

A 2003 article from the Journal of Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) examined the muscle activation of several body weight closed chain exercises for the shoulder.  They found that the 1-arm push-up, while generating resistance of about 60% of one’s body-weight, generated the highest rotator cuff, chest, and shoulder activation when compared to prayer position, quadruped, pointer position, conventional push-ups, and push-ups with legs elevated.

Anyway, I’ll keep you up to date with the progress.


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