Everyone asks me about training for one arm pull-ups (or chin-ups, or whatever you want to call them). They come in many varieties but I tend to put them all under the general umbrella of pull-ups. I’ve never really been a stickler for that sort of thing.
The video segment below shows you three different techniques that you can practice to work up to one arm pull-ups: one arm negatives, archer pull-ups, and one arm pull downs (on a cable machine).
Keep in mind that these are not the only ways to train towards one arm pull-ups. There are many paths that lead to the same destination–be creative!
Also, be prepared that the first time you try to do the one arm negative you will drop very quickly. When starting out, don’t think of it as a negative, think of it as just trying to keep yourself up. Gravity takes care of the rest.
Archer pull-ups are a great exercise regardless of if you want to work towards a one arm pull-up or not. When performing the archer pull-up as practice for the one arm pull-up, try to do as much of the work as possible with the arm closer to you. Think of your extended arm simply as a means of giving yourself assistance. Use it as little as possible. Eventually you won’t need it at all.
Check out part two of my series on working towards one arm pull-ups, featuring the one arm Australian pull-up.