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Pushups have been around for a long time, and for good reason. They're a simple and effective measurement of your full-body strength. Pushup bars and Perfect Pushup training equipment represent the next step in the evolution of the pushup. Both pieces of equipment can help you get more out of your pushup routine by allowing for greater range of motion and by encouraging proper pushup form.
Pushup bars vary slightly in design, but in general they're cheap, portable and easy to use. Performing pushups with bars isn't designed to make the exercise easier on your muscles; it's designed to make pushups easier on your joints, especially your wrists. Gripping the raised handles of the bars takes much of the bend out of your wrists, reducing the chance you'll get experience pain in your tendons. Pushup bars also let you increase the range of motion of the exercise by letting you sink deeper into each pushup.
The Perfect Pushup is similar to pushup bars, but the Perfect Pushup bars are set on disks that rotate easily under the handles, allowing you to rotate your hands during the exercise. The Perfect Pushup is designed to allow greater movement in your shoulders and back through each repetition, decreasing pressure on your joints and making for a more natural and effective movement that involves the muscles of your arms, shoulders and back.
Advantages and Disadvantages
A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise found that the Perfect Pushup elicited greater muscle activation in the chest, shoulders and triceps than traditional pushups. The activation in the trapezius muscles were nearly identical in both exercises and performing Perfect Pushups with a narrow hand position did not result in greater muscle activation than traditional pushups. The deeper range of motion allowed by the raised handles of the Perfect Pushup translated to increased muscle activation; pushup bars will bring similar advantages, but the movement of your joints might feel more natural on the Perfect Pushup due to its swiveling platform. Both pieces of equipment make it difficult or impossible to change up your hand positions to perform triangle pushups, knuckle pushups and other variations.
Pushups can be dangerous for men and women with chronic conditions affecting their shoulders. Stew Smith at Military.com says that a person's pushup form often suffers in those with preexisting shoulder injuries. This incorrect form can result in injuries to your arms, shoulders and lower back. The more challenging nature of pushup bars and Perfect Pushup handles could make the exercise even harder on someone with suspect shoulders or without the strength needed to use the equipment with proper form. If you have experienced prior shoulder injuries or suffer from instability in the shoulder joints, consult with your physician before performing pushups.