One of the secrets to building an athletic-looking and an athletic physique in general is single-arm training. Many of the movements we perform in athletics involve using one arm, or one leg at a time such as punching, kicking, shooting a basketball, throwing a football or baseball etc…
I’m not saying get rid of your conventional exercises by any means, but supplementing some single arm pushes into a shoulders for example, can help correct imbalances and give your routine some much needed variety.
In the video I have some “performance-focused” exercises and some bodybuilding exercises, but each – more or less – hit two birds with one stone, both improving lean muscle gains and performance at the same time.
In the Video
One Arm Push Press
This exercise is meant to replicate a punch, and much like a punch, the exercise starts with the lower body and ends with a push from the shoulder. This exercise isn’t meant to completely isolate the shoulder, but rather use a combination of the lower and upper body to improve power.
Start in a boxing stance with your back heel off the ground, thrusting with your legs, turn your hips and shoulders into the weight and push the weight up as fast as possible.
Use a heavier weight aiming for 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps.
One of my favorite shoulders exercises. It’s technically not a single arm exercise, but focuses on one arm at a time.
You not only have to push the weight in this exercise, but balance it as well.
Hanging Lateral Raise
In the video I superset the lumberjack press with the hanging lateral raise which ends up being a killer superset. Aim for 10 reps in each set – 3 sets of each.
This exercise isolates the lateral deltoid – side of the shoulder muscle – by taking away any swinging that might take place in a conventional lateral raise. Use a lighter weight for this exercise in the first set, keep your body still and aim for perfect form in each rep.
In the video watch how I keep the weight pretty much perpendicular to the floor – not parallel like you may see other people doing. This slight variation is easier on the rotator cuff and better for the shoulder in general. It also isolates the anterior deltoid – front of the shoulder.
Bent Over One Arm Lateral Raise
Try super-setting the front raise with this exercise – again going for 3 sets of 10 reps. Also try using a heavier weight for the one arm lateral raise than you would for the conventional lateral raise.
The one arm bent over raise will focus more-so on the posterior deltoid (rear) and the lateral deltoid.
Alternating Seated Press
Again, not technically a single arm exercise, but the exercise is a variation of the usual seated press that focuses on one shoulder muscle at a time. Use a lighter weight than you would with the usual seated press – aim for 8-10 reps each arm.
Lying Lateral Raise
I super-setted this exercise with the alternating seated press. The laying laterals are great for isolating the rear deltoid, an aspect of the shoulder muscle that is often undertrained. Use a lighter weight and aim for reps of 10-15 with 3-4 sets.
Hope this helped!
Give the workout a shot and let me know how it goes. I’ve corrected a lot of imbalances through single limb training that were carried over from both basketball and boxing.
What other exercises would you add in here?