Crank up your pushups and protect your wrists with our breakdown of the best pushup bars. Read on and unleash a stronger and more muscular upper body.
Push-ups are an excellent way to train your upper body, from your chesticles to your core to your shoulders.
As awesome as they are, push-ups can be even better.
Enter, the push-up bar.
Push up bars allow you to perform this almighty exercise without placing undue stress on your wrist.
Leaning most of your body weight onto the wrists as you lower down can cause problems for people with wrist injuries or for those getting started with resistance training.
Wrapping your hands around a push-up bar puts your wrist and forearm into a neutral and straight position.
This is more comfortable, and safer for your wrists.
Using pushup bars results in less strain on your wrist, more time training the muscles you want and not hurting yourself.
Other perks of pushup bars:
- Very affordable. Push-up bars are also relatively inexpensive compared to other upper-body home gym equipment like free-standing pull up bars or flat weight benches.
- Portable and compact. The pushup bars and stands below are all compact enough that they can come with you on your travels or be tucked away between workouts.
- Handle and grip versatility. Pushup bars and stands give you plenty of grip versatility. Because they come in two pieces, you can adjust your grip to whatever feels most comfortable. Underhand, overhand, hammer grip, the options are endless.
- Great for cross-training. Pushup bars can also be used as parallettes for calisthenics, for mountain climbers, planking, hand stands, and so on.
There are a surprising range of pushup stands and bars.
Below I have put together some of my favorites. Read on for a breakdown of the best pushup bars and stands.
Let’s dive in.
Perfect Pushup by Perfect Fitness
Invented by someone who has done more than a few push-ups in their life, a former US Navy SEAL, the rotating handles on the Perfect Pushup allow you to get into a neutral and comfortable grip that doesn’t strain your wrists. A ball-bearing system helps the handles rotate smoothly and quietly.
Whether you are using the Perfect Fitness for pushups, mountain climbers, or planking, the thick handles, quiet rotation, and ergonomic grip will help you spend more time working out and less time nursing injuries.
Perfect Pushup Elite
The Perfect Pushup Elite is essentially the second edition of the original Perfect Pushup.
The construction is a little more durable (rated for up to 400lbs, making it ideal for lifters who train with weight vests or who are simply on the heavier side like the author is), the knurling on the rubber grips are spiral-patterned, and the rotating handles twist more smoothly.
The most noticeable difference between the Elite and the Regular is the handle height.
Does that really matter? Absolutely!
The higher handle means you have to dip a little lower in order to complete a proper pushup, engaging more muscles in your chest and triceps than you would doing regular floor-based pushups.
The Elite combines the rotating handles with superior construction for a pushup experience that will have your chest and triceps crying out for mercy (in a good way, of course).
Perfect Fitness Pushup Bars
Looking for a basic, no-frills pushup stand?
Perfect Fitness rolls in again with another serving of pushup excellence. The main difference between these and the other two we have looked at so far is that these are a stand without the rotating handles.
Pick your hand width and grip, and away you go. The bottom of the stand is coated with a non-skid grip that allows you to pushup safely and comfortably no matter the floor surface.
Storage handles make tucking it away a breeze (although, I would recommend leaving them out—the more you see them, the more likely you are to use them).
The simpler design also means a cheaper price tag, with the Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands coming in at around half of the price as the stands with rotating handles.
Aihoye Foldable Push Up Bars
I absolutely love the simple and ingenious design of the Aihoye Foldable Pushup Bars.
For the traveler who is looking for the best portable exercise equipment, the Aihoye bars cleverly fold up for a tiny footprint, making it ideal for those who want to take their pushups on the road.
The hand grips are wrapped in thick foam for a comfortable and secure grip. The upside down “V” provides a stable platform that doesn’t slip and slide on the floor. And despite their compact size, they are an absolute beast when it comes to weight capacity—the Aihoye is rated for up to 660-pounds.
Aihoye ships these pushup bars with a carry bag and a resistance band to round out your home and road workouts.
Withgear Folding Pushup Bars
Of all the pushup bars I have tried, these are the highest. The handles are 8” off of the ground. Any higher and we begin to creep into portable dip stands.
In this guide, I am trying to stick to pushup bars, and Withgear’s Foldable Pushup Bars check all of the boxes.
Available in pairs or as a long straight bar, Withgear engineered these to fold up easily so that you can store the bars between workouts or take them with you on the road.
Rubber-tipped legs provide a wide base for stability and a skid-free exercise experience. Reviewers note that the bars are stable enough for handstands and other full bodyweight exercises.
Backed by a 12-month satisfaction guarantee, Withgear’s Folding Pushup Bars can be used anywhere, anytime, and made of duralumin (an aluminum alloy), these things will take whatever punishment you can dole out.
Power Press Push Up Board
Okay, this isn’t your stripped-down push up stand, but it sort of is, and I simply had to include it in this list because it is, well, fantastic.
The Power Press is a board with a pair of handles and over 30 different pushup positions on the board. Sometimes when we are working out we need a little variety and spice to keep ourselves motivated, and this innovative board accomplishes this in spades.
I have always enjoyed mixing grips when doing pushups. For example, having one hand on a medicine ball, elevating half my body, and changing the dynamics and muscle activation of a basic pushup.
The versatility in the Power Press board means you can go wide grip on your left hand, narrow grip on your right for an added challenge. The variation in grip pushes your core and shoulders to adapt to the uneven positioning, something that is especially relevant to athletic performance.
The hand grips themselves are very comfortable, with an extra-thick foam grip. The handles and board are rated for up to 300-pounds.
Choosing the right pushup bars for you
Here are some of the key things to keep in mind when choosing the right pushup bars for you and your fitness goals.
? Rotating vs Fixed Handle.
The best pushup bars, made by Perfect Fitness, have a rotating handle. This allows for a choice in grip and angle on the way you push off the floor.
I like these the most because they are ergonomic and help people who have wrist or elbow pain find a grip that works around their mobility and injury issues.
If you prefer a straight bar, there are plenty of those that are built really well.
? Weight capacity.
How much of a load your pushup bars can handle is another really important consideration to keep in mind.
Weight capacity is often used as a substitute for “quality”—the higher the weight capacity, the more durable we tend to view the equipment.
On the low side, these types of bars can handle 300lbs, with the better ones rated for 400lbs and much more (some are rated for as much as 2,000lbs!).
Unlike some other pieces of gym equipment, pushup bars are relatively low-cost. When you compare pushup bars to things like a weightlifting bench or a standalone pull up bar, pushup bars are supper affordable.
? Bar shape and padding.
A comfortable and proper grip is key. Higher bars have a U-shape handle while the smaller metal bars come in a surprising variety of shapes, including U-, S- and square shaped.
Pushup bars often come with extra goodies, ranging from a carrying case, training programs and videos, and more.
While this isn’t usually a make-or-break for most people, it is always nice to get a couple of little bonuses with your purchase.
What kind of exercises can you do with pushup bars?
The obvious answer is pushups. Lots and lots of pushups, right? Sure!
But there are plenty of other exercises that you can do with these bad boys, including:
? Deeper pushups.
“Nose to floor!” was something I heard a lot of growing up as an athlete. It was the cue our coaches gave us to make sure we were doing a full range of motion with our pushups.
With bars, you can go even deeper, further activating the muscles in your chest and shoulders.
? Narrow grip pushups.
One of the big perks of push up bars is that you can use hand positions that you might not otherwise be able to do. Narrow grip pushups (with a hammer grip) are one of my favorites. They specifically target your triceps while also nailing your chest and shoulders.
? Mountain climbers.
I’ve used this exercise over the years for Tabata-style training (8x :20 on, :10 rest) and found that they can be absolutely devastating for getting the heart rate up. Pushup bars take the weight off your wrists and hands so that you can focus on tucking those knees to your chest and lighting your cardio systems on fire.
The plank is one of the most functional ways that you can train your core and midsection. One handed planks will test your stability, while side planks will hammer your obliques (and back extensors, too), and if you want to keep things nice and simple, the old school four-point plank is great too!
The Final Rep
Pushups are a time-tested exercise that is simple, effective, and engages in a wide variety of muscles across your body.
Whether you want to increase upper body muscle, become more explosive on the field, or simply want to improve cardiovascular health, pushups are a killer way to get it done.
With pushups bars, you can add versatility and injury-proof this popular exercise while also retaining all of the benefits.
⭐ For most people, the Perfect Pushup Elite will meet all of their training needs. With spiral-patterned rubber knurling for a secure grip, an elevated height for extra muscle fiber recruitment, and tons of five-star reviews, your upper body will get the workout of its life.
⭐ U-shaped pushup bars give you the deepest pushups, and of all of these kinds of handles I’ve tried, the Withgear Folding Pushup Handles goes the deepest, with 8” of additional range of motion. They also fold up easily for portability and include a carry case.
⭐ The Power Press Push Up Board is a novel and engaging way to get your pushups in. With a huge set of options of grips, the push up board allows you to train with a mixed grip while also giving you more stability than traditional pushup bars.