First of all I'd recommend getting a good hold on the basic press up variations. However there are many many many regressions and progressions of the 1 arm press up.
Lets go back a second..
When you think of a press up what do you picture?
Traditional press ups
Here's how to do a basic one...
1- Start position: Place your hands and feet on the floor about shoulder width apart. Chest facing the floor. Keep your legs and arms fully extended. Fingers and toes face forward. Hold a straight back posture. Face the floor.
2- Descend: Start a slow bend at the elbows whilst keeping your strong holding posture. Elbows stay tucked in close to your rib cage. Head is forward of your hands as you lower.
3- Control your body as you lower it to the floor. Just before you reach the floor, stop..
4- Ascend- Start to straighten your elbows by pushing the floor away whilst maintaining your strong holding posture. Lock your elbows out until you are back to your start position.
5- That's 1 press up!
Ok, does this make sense?
If you want to get stronger at press ups then you need to forget about what you think you now right now. You need to learn that there are infinite ways of doing them. The key is finding a level where you can build on them. When you find your comfort zone aim to hit light but many reps until your feeling reasonably warmed up to challenge your strength.
THE NEGATIVE WAYS FOR HUGE POSITIVE STRENGTH GAINS!!!!!
A popular method I like to use when I'm at a reasonable conditioning is maximal negatives. Negative training is about focusing on the eccentric contraction part of the movement. Eccentric contraction is when the muscle is actively lengthening under tension. Eccentric training is muscle strengthening at it's greatest! Slow motion eccentric training is an incredible method for strength gains for most simple movements.
So if you struggle to complete a traditional press up you could try lowering yourself as slowly as possible to the floor. Then relax completely and start again from the top. Remember the focus is on the lowering part of the movement. After 5 reps, rest for a minute, shake your arms out and complete for another 5 sets. For one more set only we will know focus on the concentric contraction part of the movement. The opposite of eccentric contraction. In this case the finishing part of the actual press up. Know forget tradition. Find a wall or work top where you can lean on and go for light but as many reps as possible. Get the blood pumping to your chest and arms. Feel the burn. Complete this routine 3 times a week. It ain't pretty but it works. After 4 weeks I want you to try a full traditional press up. You are going to be so much stronger now!!! Don't be afraid to fail.
So, let's say your press ups are coming on leaps and bounds. We will know use the same strategy for a 1 arm press up. Position is so important as your balance will be challenged.
1- Start position: Place one of your hands at chest level and two feet on the floor wider than hip width apart. Chest facing the floor. Keep your legs and arms fully extended. Fingers and toes face forward. Hold a straight back posture. Face the floor.
2- Descend: Start a slow bend at the elbow whilst keeping your strong holding posture. Elbow stays tucked in reasonably close to your rib cage.
3- SLOW MO Control your body as you lower it to the floor until you feel you have no control and relax to the floor.
That's 1 negative rep, change sides and repeat. After 5 reps each side rest for at least a minute or two. Repeat for 2 more sets of 5 each reps each side.
4- Time for the pump set...Do as many traditional press ups as possible. When you have lost form it's superset time! Stand up and lean forwards on something like a wall or work top that's stable so you can do as many light reps as possible until your arms can no longer rep one more. Complete this routine 2 more times in a week. Rest a day between workouts. After 4 weeks try a 1 arm press up.
This is just one simple method I have for you. Let me know how you get on. Make sure you eat a good balance of protein, carbs and fats. Nutrition will help you recover and become stronger.
Here's to making your body unstoppable,