Skip to content

Tips of the week Perform one-arm push presses

Tipps der Woche Führe einarmige Push Presses aus

Overhead pressing exercises are excellent when it comes to developing full body strength and stability. If you take it a step further and perform push presses using some momentum from the legs, you'll learn how to generate power through the lower body and transfer that power to the upper body while stabilizing everything from the wrists to the ankles.

Unfortunately, a barbell is not always conducive to shoulder joint health due to limitations in shoulder mobility and restrictions in stability. By replacing the barbell with a dumbbell, you can perform overhead presses through a natural range of motion to build stability while developing explosive full-body strength.

Single Arm Push Presses

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell held at shoulder height.
  2. Move quickly into a quarter squat position, reverse the momentum and perform an explosive overhead pressing movement.
  3. Consciously contract your gluteus hard to stabilize the body and fully extend the arm upwards before lowering the weight back to the shoulder.

Tip: Perform a suitcase deadlift

Build strong obliques and boost your squat and deadlift performance with this challenging exercise

By Steven Morris


For anyone looking to handle heavy weights on squats and deadlifts, the obliques need to be strong. The average side bend won't cut it here when it comes to building a really strong core. Suitcase deadlifts are old-school and brutal. Very strong people are often humiliated when they try this exercise for the first time.

Suitcase deadlift

This exercise is best performed from the floor, but if you have problems with this, you can also position the bar at mid-shin height in a rack.

  1. Stand to the side of the bar.
  2. Get into the same position as you would for a deadlift (flat back, chest up) and pick up the weight as you would pick up a suitcase.
  3. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted and your back tight throughout the movement. If you start to twist, stop the exercise and use a lighter weight.

Three to four sets of 5 repetitions are sufficient.

Tip: Build up your back with inverse rowing

Inverted rowing is not just for beginners. Here you can find out how to turn this exercise into a basic muscle-building exercise.

By Tony Gentilcore


Inverted rowing, sometimes derisively referred to as the "fat man's pull-up", isn't just an exercise for beginners...or fat people. Here's a way to turn this exercise into a challenging muscle-building exercise.

Inverse rowing pause

  1. Place a squat pad in the center of the bar that will serve as your target.
  2. Pause on this pad for 3 to 5 seconds. I challenge you to do this for 10 reps and then tell me that your back is not on fire.
  3. To make this even harder, you can position your feet on a raised shelf. This serves to increase the range of motion so that you are pulling more of your own body weight.
  4. Still not heavy enough? Add weight. Using chains as an external load will make this exercise heavier. If you work out in a gym where there are no chains, you can also use a backpack loaded with weights.

Tip: Perform trap bar presses

This press with a complete stop of the movement combined with trap bar push presses will make your shoulders explode.

From Ben Bruno

Even though the trap bar is generally considered a lower body tool, it can also be used very well in pressing movements. Due to the angle of the handles, such exercises serve as an excellent, safer alternative to barbell presses for the shoulders and elbows.

For overhead presses, it is best to start with the bar on the support pins of a power rack and perform each repetition from a completely stationary position. The rest pins should be anywhere from the height of your trapezius to directly above your head, depending on the mobility of your shoulders and how you like to perform the pressing movement.

Trap bar push presses

If you want to use more momentum from your legs and turn this exercise into push presses, then place the trap pins slightly lower. The beauty of this exercise is that you don't have to worry about taking your head out of the way for the bar, as is the case with most normal variations of overhead presses.

Tip: Use Landmine Thrusters to improve your fitness

Intensity that will get your heart racing, hypertrophy and fat loss - what more could you want from an exercise?

By Ben Bruno


Standard barbell thrusters are a fusion of squats and overhead presses. However, your technique needs to be perfect in both areas of the movement or you'll have a bad day. You also need to master the rack position (wrists bent backwards), which can be tough for many tall exercisers. Here's an alternative with all the same benefits.

Landmine Thrusters

Landmine Thrusters are a user-friendly alternative to barbell thrusters. They are easier to perform and put less stress on the joints. If you don't have the appropriate machine, you can also position the end of a barbell on a towel in the corner of a room.

Landmine squats and presses don't place the same mobility demands on the exerciser as conventional squats and conventional shoulder presses, which means more people can perform these exercises. Most exercisers also feel that landmine squats are gentler on the knees and lower back compared to front squats and that landmine presses are gentler on the shoulders compared to conventional shoulder presses.

In addition, the weights used in landmine squats and landmine presses are significantly higher for most exercisers - and the squat part of the exercise is not neglected either.

A bonus benefit

Landmine Thrusters can serve as an excellent tool for teaching yourself the squat movement pattern. Use this exercise as a tool if you tend to struggle with getting your hips through the entire upper range of the squat movement. It's important to achieve full hip extension at the top of the squat, but many exercisers remain in hip flexion and never perform this last part of the movement, especially on higher repetition sets. By adding the overhead pressing movement to landmine squats, you are forced to move your hips all the way up.

Tip: Build your chest with this combo exercise

This exercise combines two great chest building exercises into one.

By Ben Bruno


The problem with most combo exercises is that you're usually significantly stronger at one exercise than the other, which means you have to choose the weight based on which exercise you're weaker at. This also means that you will not be able to perform to your full potential on the exercise where you are stronger and therefore will not get the most out of that exercise. Here's a chest combo exercise that doesn't have this problem.

Flying movements with dumbbells with presses

This combo works particularly well for exercisers who struggle to feel most traditional exercises in their chest.

  1. Start with dumbbells pressed together on your chest and perform a pressing movement through the concentric (lifting) part of the movement, pressing the dumbbells firmly against each other to keep them in contact with each other throughout the movement. This works best with dumbbells with hexagonal plates, but is also possible with regular dumbbells. Just make sure that the dumbbells are always at the same height to prevent them from slipping.
  2. Lower the dumbbells from the highest position with a downward motion as in regular flying movements with dumbbells. Make sure you keep your elbows slightly bent so that your chest muscles are engaged and not your shoulders.

This combination allows you to reap the benefits of two excellent chest building exercises while allowing you to use more weight than you would normally use in regular dumbbell flyes. Perform this exercise on a slightly inclined bench. You will then feel it more in your chest and less in your shoulders.

Stick to 8 to 12 repetitions using good exercise form. This is a great finishing exercise for your chest after performing heavy presses.

Tip: Use this killer exercise for latissimus and abs

Train your arms and latissimus while working your abs.

By Ben Bruno | 02/07/16


This combination will make your latissimus, upper back, arms and core explode.

Pull-ups and hanging leg raises

This exercise pairing works great because it kills two birds with one stone: You can classify it as either a back exercise or a core exercise depending on where you want to place it in your program. It also helps you to perform your pull-ups more correctly as you can avoid using excessive momentum.

The goal is to perform this exercise with your legs straight, but if that is too difficult, you can start by performing it with your legs bent, extending your legs further and further over time. Doing this exercise with bent legs is also a good way to get some extra pull-ups out of it, as the bent legs can be used to get some momentum.

Make this exercise even heavier

Placing a medicine ball or weight between your feet will significantly increase the challenge to the core. If you perform the exercise with bent knees, you can place the weight between your knees. You can also use a weight vest if you want to make the pull-up part of the exercise heavier.

Tip: Perform this exercise for biceps and upper back

This time-saving combo will build your back, rear shoulder muscles and biceps.

By Ben Bruno


This exercise is great for working your upper back, rear shoulder muscles and biceps.

Reverse flying movements with supported chest and hammer curls

  1. Start lying prone on a 45 degree incline bench with your arms hanging vertically down and your palms facing each other.
  2. First perform a reverse flying movement, concentrating on keeping your arms straight or almost straight and your chest pressed flat against the bench to avoid bouncing.
  3. Then perform one repetition of hammer curls, keeping your hands close together and trying to pause at the highest point of the movement, just before the dumbbells touch your forehead.
  4. Alternate one repetition each of reverse flying movements and hammer curls until you have completed the desired number of repetitions.

It won't take much weight to make this exercise very challenging - so leave your ego in the checkroom and focus on performing both exercises correctly and with good form.


By Eric Bach

Previous article The definitive guide to preventing muscle loss