Do you have a pair of push-ups bars but are bored of so many push-ups? Or, you’re thinking of getting them but need more reasons to get them so you can convince your spouse or roommate they’re not a waste of space? Great, this blog is for you!
I personally want my workout products to have multiple purposes – both because I get bored and because my tiny apartment already looks like a sporting goods store and every crevice is packed. Luckily, though these bars are named for their main purpose, push ups are not the only option for working out with them.
These bars are great for both men and women, even though they’re typically more popular with men. But I love them for women because our upper body strength tends to be severely lacking. They’re also great for triceps, the back of the arm which most women complain is too flabby. So, get a pair for home and you and your other half can share them and workout together!
The particular ones I’m using in these photos and video are from ProSource. They’re lightweight, have padded handles, and are simple to put together. They cost only $9.99, but you can get them even cheaper with my 15% off code: HOLLY15.
Before the exercises you can do with push-up bars, let me explain a few benefits and why these things exist when you can do “perfectly good push ups” on the floor.
Benefits of Push-Up Bars
1. Full Range of Motion = Better Muscle Development
Push up bars give you a few extra inches of space to work those chest and shoulder muscles through their full range. That means they’re getting a little more time under tension and a bit more work than standard floor push-ups. Basically, they’re more effective.
2. Reduced Wrist Pain
The position of the handles reduces some of the bend and strain on wrists, so if you have any wrist pain (like me), these can reduce that and make push-ups easier. I love push ups for building upper body strength, but I used to have a client who had worse tendonitis than me and just couldn’t do them. We used push up bars and she was able to perform a few sets without the same pain. i recently used these when I wanted to do mountain climbers, but my wrist pain prevented me from doing them on the floor. The bars allowed me to keep my wrists straight, eliminating the pain so I could get that core and cardio work in!
3. More Exercise Options and Angles
With push-up bars you can turn your hands in and perform push-ups in a way you can’t on the floor for less shoulder strain and a slightly different angle for your chest muscles. Plus, as we’re about to see, you can do many other exercises with them for your core muscles, abs, and arms.
Push-Up Bar Workout
Let’s get to the exercises. You can perform these on their own as part of a chest, upper body, or core workout, or in a series as its own workout.
Performance note: keep core tight in all of these – think of pulling your belly button in to your spine while still breathing!
1. Wide-Grip Push-Up
Place bars slightly outside of shoulders. You can turn them horizontal or vertical, depending on your preference. Feel free to mix them up from time to time to keep your muscles guessing. From a high plank position, Squeeze shoulder blades together and slowly lower down as far as you can. If you feel any shoulder strain, stop before that point. Make sure to keep your head in a neutral position, not dipping toward the floor.
2. Close-Grip Push-Up
Turn the bars vertical so they’re parallel and place them so that your hands are right under your shoulders, palms facing in. Now when you perform the push-up, your elbows should stay right by your sides. This will target your triceps more than the wide version.
3. Mountain Climbers
This exercise is for your core, will work the arms slightly as they hold you up, and is a good cardio boost. Position the bars just like the close-grip push up. Then, keeping arms straight, pull one knee in toward your chest, squeezing abs tight, then as you extend it back, switch and bring your other knee in. Quickly switch back and forth as fast as you can, keeping butt down.
Another GREAT core exercise. So great, in fact, that I rarely attempt these because they’re very challenging – takes me back to my gymnastic days. But don’t skip out on these, the more you do, the easier they’ll get and your abs, especially lower abs, will thank you. Keep the bars close to each other, shoulder distance apart. Start sitting between them with legs extended out in front of you. Grab bars and push up so your butt is off the ground, then flex abs and lift heels so legs come a few inches off the ground, staying straight out in front of you. Hold as long as you can, being careful not to tip forward.
5. Tricep Dips
Keep the bars in the same place as the L-sit – shoulder distance and parallel to each other with feet out in front of you. You can keep legs straight, or bend them to make it a bit more challenging. With hands on the bars and keeping upper body straight and tall, lower your body toward the ground,then press back up, flexing triceps.
6. Handstand Push Ups
These are more advanced, and shouldn’t be done until you can do about 10 or more regular push-ups with ease. Place bars a couple inches from a wall, parallel to each other. Place hands on bars,then kick all the way up so legs hit the wall. Straighten arms, tighten core, and make sure only your feet are touching the wall. Then slowly lower down as far as you can.You can also place an abdominal mat on the ground to cushion your head if you are able to lower that far. Then, press all the way back up, or perform a kipping push-up (which is easier) by bending knees then thrusting them back up to the start position, which will provide some momentum to get back to the start position
Have fun exploring with these exercises and seeing those arm, chest and core muscles develop!
Do you have any other great ideas for push-up bars? Share them in the comments!