Push-Up Bar Exercises

push-up bars with reflection in a studio
Push-up bars are a versatile piece of exercise equipment. (Image: adavino/iStock/Getty Images)

Many people are surprised to find out that push-up bars can be used for more than just a simple push-up. This common piece of equipment, found at most gyms, can actually give you a balanced arm-strengthening workout. By performing several different exercises, you target many of the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles.

exercise illustration - bench dip
Using push-up bars to do dips activates the triceps muscle. (Image: Eraxion/iStock/Getty Images)


This exercise targets the triceps muscles, which help you straighten your arm during activities like pushing open a car door or vacuuming.


Full length of young beautiful woman in sportswear doing plank while standing in front of window at gym
Planks are a great way to activate the abdominal muscles. (Image: g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Planks are a great way to build abdominal strength and improve your core stability.

Seated Press-up

The press-up helps you avoid rounded shoulders by strengthening the muscles that bring the shoulder blades down and back.

Push-up plus

This exercise activates the serratus anterior muscle, which helps with posture and shoulder mobility.

Decline push-up

By propping your legs on a chair or step, this exercise adds to the challenge of a traditional push-up.

Indications and Precautions

For a well-rounded strengthening routine using push-up bars, perform two to four sets of each of the exercises. This should be done two to three times each week. Make sure to avoid shrugging your shoulders while you complete the exercises as this can lead to shoulder pain or rotator cuff injury.


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