If developing chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles is your aim you will be hard pressed to find a better or cheaper method than doing bags of push ups in the comfort of your own home. This body weight exercise is highly effective for building up strength and muscle without using any equipment. The beauty of this exercise is the sheer variety of styles that allow you to target many different areas and the versatility of being able to do sets of push ups virtually anywhere.
With all this in mind is it worth getting extra equipment for push ups routines? Some of the equipment available that you could consider are weighted vests and stands. Here we take a look at what push up stands do and whether they work and whether they are necessary or just a luxury.
What Are Push Up Stands?
Your basic stands are simply a stable, floor standing, set of bars that allow you to do push ups from a slightly raised position with your wrists inline with your body using a closed fist grip. There are two general types of push up bar, the fixed position and the rotating stand. The rotating stand moves through 90 degrees which, it is claimed, help reduce stress on elbows and wrists whilst engaging more muscles in the arm and shoulders.
How To Use Them
You simply plant the stands on the floor to correspond with whichever push up variation you intend to use and start push ups as normal.
Benefits Of Using Stands
There are two serious benefits that using push up bars bring to your workouts that make them a very appealing item of equipment. The first major benefit is that they bring your hands about 4-5 inches off the floor. This means you can dip deeper into your push up. The effect of dipping deeper is that you meet more resistance pushing yourself up from the lower dip position and the arm and chest muscles get a tougher workout. All this translates into extra strength and a better more thorough workout than a traditional push up off your hands might allow for.
The second benefit worth considering is your wrists. As a seasoned push up exerciser I do from time to time suffer twinges in the wrists when not using stands and using a flat hand palm position. With stands the handles are slightly angled to reduce the possibility of wrist strain but more importantly the wrists are turned parallel to the body. If you suffer from sore wrists during push ups you might have noticed that doing push ups off the knuckles in a closed fist position eliminates the pain. Stands have the same effect without putting all your weight on the knuckles.
What Do They Cost?
Surprisingly these items unlike a lot of fitness kit are actually quite cheap. Expect to pay a minimum of $10 for a set of basic stands. Higher end stands can cost as much as $40 but whether they achieve any extra benefit apart from looking good is probably debatable.
Are They Worth It?
Well we have seen what push up stands do and how they work. They will take the stress off your wrists giving you the chance to hit higher repetitions and reduce pain and strains and will allow for deeper movement to make your push ups tougher on arm and chest muscles giving you greater gains in the same period of time. Is it worth having a set? In my opinion at the basic price levels they are worth buying. A set of stands will last forever and will definitely protect your wrists. If you are considering moving up to using a weighted vest the stands should be an easy choice to take excess weight off your wrists.