The jury seems to be out on this - including my own.
I wrote about the one arm pull-up this morning here, and as promised, now, my thoughts on the one arm PUSHUP.
Last year I was rapping with an old customer, perhaps the right guy to talk to about pushups - former martial artist and a lot more - and before proceeding, here is the review he left for Pushup Central -
The Bodyweight Guru has done it again, 55 ways to bring on the pain, a magnum opus on how to really use what is possibly the world's oldest and "most diverse" exercise.
If you're like me, you live for that pain, the feeling of your muscles as they stretch and contract and how your body screams at you to stop but your mind will not allow you to quit, you have that target in your mind and you cannot stop until you hit that target, yes my friends this is training "brutally effective" training.
Buy this book and take up the challenge of Push Up Central.
The Bodyweight Guru is waiting for you, let him show you how with this (innocently sounding) book you can become more than you could ever have imagined, this is hard training at it's absolute best.
Now a word about the previous review, Glyn Scofield is a total moron and his reviews suck almost as much as he does, Glyn, if by chance you ever read this, do yourself a favour and just stop, nobody cares what you think.
Now, I won't get into the review here again, I've done that enough times already (and lets not EVEN get into the Bozo - ugh, I said that wrong didnt I?) ...
I was talking to him about doing high rep pushups, how pushups do help your pull-up prowress - or help you get better at pull-ups provided you address the "fat around the midsection" issue (which pushups do a damn good job of addressing if you do 'em right and regularly, not just "sometimes") ...and a lot more.
And I remember him saying that he felt one arm pushups were more a "show" movement, for real workouts, they weren't really that useful.
Now, he's right on one - very main thing.
As with one arm pull-ups, the vast majority of people would do just fine without doing a single one arm pushup in their lives.
If you focus on and do pushups the way I teach you in Pushup Central with "both limbs" (though you'll see me take some away occasionally, hehe) - then my friend you will do just fine and need nothing else from that perspective.
Most of the people we know that really did pushups at a high level, high repes, Iron Mike Tyson, Herschel Walker, the list goes on and on - while I've no doubt they did a lot of one arm pushups in their training, the VAST BULK (no pun!) of their training most likely was done with two limbs.
So it should be as well.
The main thing though for me, which seperates one arm pushups from the same category in pull-ups - it is far harder to mantain proper form when doing one arm pushups.
You'll see folks doing 'em with legs spread, back bent and so forth, such is the nature of the movement.
Getting reps in with proper form can be done ... but maintaining that form over a long workout is neither practical nor really doable - nor is entirely functional.
Thats one main reason I rate it as "part show" - but not fully.
Doing a one arm pushup still takes some incredible strength and conditioning my friend - especially if you do them slow in sets of 10 - on your fingertips, and so forth.
But would I recommend one arm pushups in workouts - the question goes?
Yes, but perhaps AFTER your regular pushup workouts.
For instance, 25 regulars, maybe 5 one arms, then 40 regular's, maybe 5 more one arms ...
They make for a great sizzler and finisher, not entirely the case with one arm pull-ups which you'll see you can work far more into your workouts than one arm pushups (though again, most people would do just fine doing pull-ups properly with both limbs) ...
There's plenty of other movements we could talk about here which lots of people say fall into the showboating movement -my book Advanced Plyometrics has one of them "the clapping pushup".
I'll be talking about that later, so stay tuned.
For now, remember Pushup Central is all you need in terms of pushups - ever.
If you so choose, you can go even more advanced, but these exercises in this here book are enough to keep you busy and very productive indeed your entire life.
The greats did 'em, if it was good enough for 'em, it was for you, no excuses.
Chop chop, as she said. Hehe. (if you ain't got to it already, you should have, do it NOW).
And thats that.