Push Up Bars – Should You Use Them?

When I first began using push up bars, I thought that they were supposed to make push-ups easier and less challenging. So imagine my surprise when I finally learned that they were supposed to do the opposite. These bars are supposed to make push ups more effective; not make them easier.

So does this mean that I recommend them? Not necessarily. I have a lot of experience with push ups, so using push up bars wasn’t all that hard for me. However, they can be a little hard to get used to, and people who don’t have a lot of upper body strength may find them a little hard to use. So if you’re planning to use such bars during your workouts then here’s what you should know. 

What Do Push Bars Actually Do?

Push bars may be simple looking tools, but they actually allow you to get more out of each rep. Not only do they force you to exert more effort, they also increase your range of motion. More range of motion leads to faster and better muscle build up, which is what we really want from all exercise machines.

People also tend to mistake these bars with dipping bars. Dip bars are something else entirely, although some models (especially lower-base ones) are similar in design.

Of course, the downside to all this is that they force you to put more effort into each rep. As someone who’s used to doing push-ups, this was relatively easy, and overall, my use of the bars was a net positive, all things considered. Furthermore, they made me feel stable during each rep, and that’s certainly a good thing. 

Aside from improving each of my push ups, they also protect my wrists by keeping their position neutral. So that’s another benefit offered by these items. They can protect your wrist’s muscles from stress and damage, a common problem for people who do a lot of push ups.

On the other hand, there are cases where push up bars can be problematic. For one thing, they tend to put more stress on the shoulders, forcing them to travel further during each rep. If you don’t have a lot of upper body strength, or if you have shoulder problems, then this added tension on your shoulders may cause injuries.

I personally never experienced these problems, but if you think your shoulders can’t handle the stress then you’re better off doing regular push ups than take risks.

Using Push Up Bars

I made a lot of mistakes when I first began using the bars, but I eventually figured out how to use them correctly. To use push up bars, you will need to put them on the floor on the same spot where you put your hands while doing regular push ups.

Next, grip the handles and perform a push-up as you normally would. If this feels difficult to you or you’re not used to the push up bars yet, put your knees to the ground then try another rep. You should have fewer problems performing each rep.

One last word of advice. I’ve hurt myself a few times and I later found out that it was because of my posture. So before you start using your push up bars, try to review what you know about push ups, and make sure that your posture is correct.

Should You Use Push Up Bars?

It all depends on your workout routine. If you don’t do a lot of push ups, or if you prefer to use other exercises to develop your upper body strength, then you may not really need to use them.

The best way to look at these bars is to think of them as upgrades. You use them to improve your push ups and their results. They also force you to do push up the right way, and that’s one more benefit to consider.

On the other hand, using the bars can put a lot of strain on your arms and shoulders, especially if you use them incorrectly. When I first started using push up bars, I ended up spraining my shoulders a couple of times. So it’s not enough to have strong muscles. You will also need to know how to use them correctly.

All in all, I think that push up bars are great tools for those of us who like push ups and upper body exercises. However, it’s not for everybody, and you will need to consider your own workout goals if you’re planning to use them.