The push-up bar is a recent invention, designed to make the classic no-equipment exercise more effective. Additionally, one of the therapeutic uses of the push-up is to reduce the stress on the wrists that can occur with hands flat on the floor. Fortunately, it also makes several other exercises for other body parts more effective as well. Instead of limiting yourself to just push-ups, branch out, expand your horizons, and try other exercises to increase the versatility of the bar.
Push-Up Variations for the Chest
The basic push-up is a great exercise, working everything from the chest, shoulders and arms, to the core muscles of the abdomen, used for stabilizing the body in the push-ups position. However, the elevated push-up, with your feet on a rest, which puts your feet higher than your head will increase the effectiveness of the push-up. Rest your feet on a chair, or against the wall, while your hands are on the push-up bar, and perform your push-ups. This increases the workload required of your muscles in the chest, shoulders and arms, by forcing them to carry more of the load. While the total number of repetitions that you can perform will be more limited, the increased resistance will provide a more effective strength-building workout.
The handstand push-up is another great exercise for making the use of the push-up bar more intense and effective. Place your hands on the grips of the push-up bar, then rest your feet on a wall, so your are as close to upside down as possible. Perform push-ups in this stance. Handstand push-ups are incredibly intense to perform, because you are not only pushing your entire body weight with your arms and shoulders, but your whole body is working to support you in the upright position. To make the handstand push-up more effective, you can also perform it without the wall to lean your feet against.
For less emphasis on your chest and shoulders, while still accentuating the demand on your arm muscles, you can perform seated dips on the push-up bar as well. These are great for working the triceps muscles of the back of the arm, which are responsible for up to 2/3 of the total size of your upper arm. Seat yourself on the ground, legs extended in front you, with the push-up bar on the ground behind your, directly behind, and close to your butt. Place both hands on the bars behind you, with elbows bent. Push up, so your arms are straight, and you lift your body off the ground, so your weight is supported by your hands and feet.
- "The Naked Warrior;" Pavel Tsatsouline; 2003
- "Combat Conditioning;" Matt Furey; 2003