Push-Up Stand Challenge

11

Time for another health and fitness review!  And this time we have the fitness industry promising another must-have gadget that will make us all go from a pork rhine eating Marshmallow Man to a chiseled display of perfection that Greek gods would bow to: Push-up stands.

In truth, push-up stands are actually living up to their reputation rather well.  They relieve wrist issues and in general provide deeper range of motion to an exercise that will do more for your body than most any other.  But like nature there is variety within the species!  So I thus present a review for the hottest push-up stands.  I’m sure I’ve missed one, but these are the heavy hitters…

GENERIC PUSH-UP BARS

I’ve had a couple versions of these but the design remains relatively constant.  A U-shaped padded bar on a supporting base.  Simple, inexpensive and they do indeed get the job done.  Problems happen when wide pushups come into play.  Go too far and you’ll drop like a sack of spuds with quite possibly a wrist injury to boot.  These are great for beginners or those who are building a home gym on a budget.  I’ve had a set for a year or so and they’ve done a fine job despite their limitations.  Just be aware of construction.  I had a plastic set at first and they always looked like every push up would be their last!  Definitely go metal.

PROS: Deeper range of motion.  Inexpensive.  Get the job done!
CONS: Go too wide and you’re going down with possibly a wrist injury.  Quality is as varied as the manufacturers.

PERFECT PUSH UP

The biggest complaint on the web seems to be their “feature” to rotate.   I borrowed a set from a friend and while I wasn’t crazy about them, in all fairness I think the designers were trying to create a mechanism that would work core muscles by maintaining good form.  These certainly will accomplish that, and indeed they are easier on the wrists than regular push ups.  My real complaint is that they are not high enough to make any significant difference in push-up depth.  They also serve a singular function as moves such as dips are out of the question.  However, their low center of gravity seems to give better tip-over protection.  The plastic base feels a bit cheap, but should hold up.

PROS: Forearms seem to get more core muscle use in order to steady handles.  Portable.
CONS: Despite claims of being multi-purpose, they seem to be a one-trick pony.

TONY HORTON’S POWERSTANDS

**UPDATE = As of 6/6/2011, the NEW design of the PowerStands is the only option. BB no longer sells the original metal ones as reviewed here. 

If there’s a Rolls-Royce of push up stands, here they are.  I finally broke down and bought a set and I am indeed very, very impressed.  Much like buying a major appliance these days, most of what is out there cuts corners, is made of “durable” plastic, or is simply a knock-off of a bad concept.  These babies are none of that.  They are designed for the express purpose of comfortable hand grip, super deep range of motion, and no fear of failure due to their solid metal construction .  The first thing you’ll notice is that they are big.  Really big.  Even the hand grip has a wide diameter so it doesn’t cause undue pressure on the palm.  A double bonus is the angle of the handgrip which works with the natural angle of the hand itself and eliminates any undue pressure.  The range of motion with these is also practically unlimited as the base will not tip.  When you’re done using these, you KNOW your chest had a workout due to the depth.  They cost almost twice as much as their brethren, but I guarantee these will be the last push-up stands one would ever need to buy.  No planned obsolesence was built into these, and that in itself is rare these days.  Tony Horton of P90X owns the patent on the Power Stands, so that explains the lack of any knock-offs because I guarantee there would otherwise be many.  Probably a good thing as they’d all be plastic or cast-metal crap anyway.  The only issue I had was one screw needed tightening on one stand, which a Phillips screwdriver fixed in about 2 seconds.

PROS: No danger of tipping.  Near unlimited range of motion. Solid and built like an Israeli tank, so pass them on to your kids.
CONS: Expensive, but then again quality costs.  Not very portable.

Note: I am NOT a Beachbody Coach or affiliated with the company in any way!!  Reviews by those who are always seem dubious and self-serving to me.

© 2011 – 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Dan

    Whats your thoughts on using the 7-point pullup bar (P90X or Iron Gym pullup bar) as a pushup stand?

    -Dan

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      I don't actually have the P90X bar or the knock-off version, the Iron Man Ultimate. Rather, I have one of these babies…

      I have no idea who makes it as I purchased it years ago. I got it from a local fitness shop and it has served me so well that I see no need to get rid of it as it does everything the P90X bar does.

      While this or even the P90X bar can be used for modified push-ups, I think they are limited in their options. Dips or staggered push-ups are complicated, and the angle of your wrists is for the most part static.

      That having been said, necessity is the mother of invention and in a pinch I'm sure one could get the job done. It just wouldn't be an optimal solution.

      • D_McGinnis

        I actually like your bar better because it has the full bar going across the front, and not an empty space like the P90X one. Sure you can't remember who makes it?

  • Zorrolf

    A Push-up stand review? Maybe I'm missing the point (being a couch potato and all)

    Anyway, here's another highly rated (4.5 out of 5)low cost solution that will help you look great in more than just one way:

    http://tinyurl.com/4ojzwgj

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      Drumroll! That reminds me, I could use a new iron…

      Contrary to the sites main theme, the fitness reviews actually get a fair amount of traffic. Therefore I thought I'd try to throw one in from time to time to keep a certain demographic happy! Plus, I just got my Power Stands and was kind of showing off. :)

      Opinionated socio-political post soon to follow! Trust me!

  • Californiaorb

    I dont get it, why would tony horton go to plastic, when all he had to do was raise the F _ ING price and have them both for sale,   this just really sucks in so many ways,   I really hope greed causes cancer.

  • floresce

    I know everyone’s feet are built differently, but I was just wondering what sneakers you use for Insanity/P90x? (thanks for the great reviews and info)

    • I generally use New Balance cross trainers for my daily P90x/Insanity workouts, and my totally cool baby blue Nike Dual Fusion running shoes for hitting the track or marathons with my kids! When it comes to my footwear I can be a bit picky!

  • SEM

    Great review on the stands. I missed the original, but this is what i was looking for on Tony’s new stands. I just might have to break down and blow out the cobwebs of my wallett on these :). By the way, I just watched your P90X2 youtube review…very good and funny, thanks.

  • As you say ‘Definitely go metal’. We have just launched some strong sturdy metal bars on Amazon.com. I think they are as good as any on the market. Please have a look.
    http://www.amazon.com/Maximiza-Push-up-Bars-Comfortable-g/dp/B00MP3FZOG