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To find the best push up bars, we spend 36 hours testing, researching, and doing hundreds of pushups to review every grip option on every bar. The option that made it to the top of the list with great marks is the XTEK Versatile Paralletes. It should be the best option for most people.
One thing to keep in mind as taking a look at these reviews is that there is some crossover between what we would call push up bars and a parallettes set. Rotating Push up Bars and Push up Machines are other options in this category we decided to evaluate.
Who is this for?
This article is for people looking to build up their pectorals, deltoids, triceps, and your abdominals. Push up bars can be another tool in your arsenal for developing upper body strength and other muscle groups.
How we chose
Just like in the previous iteration of this guide, we focused mainly on durable steel molded pull-up bars. They’re easy to take out and use when necessary, easy to put away. We looked at what kind of material was used to soften the grip of the bars on the hands. We wanted to make sure that it was durable and won’t tear or come apart soon after use. We also wanted to evaluate how sturdy each of the bars were, and whether they were likely to bend or break over extended periods of use.
One of the great things about this kind of equipment is that you can vary your workouts with push up bars depending on how far apart you position them. Having several options allows users to alter their strengthening focus. Since we last researched this guide, we’ve found that there are a lot more options when it comes to equipment for doing push ups.
We also cross-referenced reader suggestions with lists on other sites, read several customer reviews, taking into account which items ranked highly.
How we tested
For each bar, we reviewed ease of assembly, the clarity (or lack thereof) in the instructions, whether they included quality tools (or were necessary). In the most recent round, we reviewed how easy each unit was to take out and use. We checked to see if the bars left marks on the floor, and how well they held up under pressure.
To see how well the bars could support a heavy weight, I invited one of my large male clients to work out with me. He and I did push ups on every piece of equipment, noting whether we felt the equipment was doing a good job of supporting our weight. We both discussed how comfortable we felt each unit was.
Finally, we compared the footprints for each piece of equipment for how hard or easy it would be to store. This is the kind of equipment that I want to recommend to people who work out in an apartment or small space.
7 Best Push Up Bars Reviewed - Best Parallettes Bars
Our Top Pick: XTEK Versatile Parallettes
The XTEK Versatile Parallettes are set apart from their competitors in their multiple applications. They’re tall enough to be used for dips, push-ups, v-sits, tuck, planches, and handstand push-ups. They are constructed out of 2mm thick gauge steel and when we used them, we agreed that they would be durable enough for crossfit training. Executed correctly you could use them to work out the chest, shoulders, back, arms, and abdominal muscles.
One of the drawbacks we found is that it has a wide base that can get in the way when changing positions during the workout. You have to be aware of your body position while working out so you do not hit your body against the equipment. Another drawback with this equipment is the lack of padding that can wear into your hands if you’re not careful. Perhaps this is why they are one of the less expensive models in their category.
Parallettes are essentially push-up bars that excel in multi-functionality, and that is what makes them a complementary addition to a set of home workout equipment.
Best Rotating Push Up Bars
Elite Sportz Push-Up Bars
What sets these push-up bars apart from their competitors is the way that they can rotate, which they claim is meant to put less pressure on your wrists. By being able to rotate, they are meant to offer a wider range of positions to do push ups from. But do they work? In our experimentation with the bars, we are pleased to announce that they do reduce pressure on the wrists.
While there are some similar models on the market with varying degrees of quality, we feel this is a good choice for the price. While we were using them, we noticed that they didn’t slip on the hardwood floor and remain in place throughout the workout, with the rotating grips.
Another area where these bars might come in handy is how compact they are. You could easily take them with you when going on a trip. One area where there could be some improvement though is with the lack of padding on the handles. Depending on how calloused your hands are, it could be uncomfortable using these at first. Another potential drawback could be the creaking sounds the unit makes when turning. These units are just one notch below the Perfect Fitness model.
SmarterLife PushUp Bars for Men
These push up bars are similar in design to the Elite Sportz Bars, with the internal ball bearings, though it comes at a lower price point. Though less expensive, when we gave these a try, we found it has some of the same issues as other models with the creaking plastic under pressure.
These are the kinds of units that you can look at if you just want a starter push up bar to keep you motivated and develop the push up habit. They're a little lighter and small than other rotating push up bars in their category. Because of this, when we were testing these bars, we were sometimes worried that they might crack.
Perfect Fitness Perfect Pushup Elite
For our last example of rotating bars, we have the Perfect Fitness Perfect Pushup Elite. These are meant to be some of the higher-end bars in this category with steel ball bearings. Aesthetically, they look appealing with their red and black design. When using these, I did like the textured handles, but then I started to notice my hands slipping. You might want to buy some gloves to use in tandem with these. It can be frustrating to have to readjust your hands between push-ups.
I didn't notice much of a difference in terms of how light the Perfect Fitness might be on the wrists. I don't feel that these push up bars are so much more superior than comparable products in the category. Would I recommend these? If you want a more premium version of rotating bars, these are definitely an option, however, you might get something more cost-effective by going for a comparable product at a lower price point.
The Best Push Up Bars
Withgear Folding Push-Up Bar
These units are set apart from their competitors in the way that they fold. One of the things that we’re always interested in here at Home Fitness Life is compact exercise equipment for people living in cramped spaces. These push up bars were created to take up a minimal amount of space and are meant to easy to carry. As far as that's concerned, they work as advertised. We didn't have any trouble folding them and could easily put them in our bags. But what are they like to use?
In our tests with these units, we found that they were strong enough to support the weight of both of us, me and my heavyset client. This equipment is built out of a metal called duralumin, which is an aluminum alloy that though sturdy, could promote future corrosion. Another potential issue was the cording bands used for folding and unfolding these units. I would rather they used steel pins instead. We tried doing dips on these pushup bars and had no issues. Apart from the cords, we feel these are well designed, and a satisfactory choice if you're looking for something taller and a little more portable.
These push-up bars can be a little hard on your hands, so you might want to pick up a pair of gloves before using them.
Juperbsky Push-Up Parallettes
These are a more standard pair of steel push up bars we wanted to evaluate as they might be just enough for most users that just want some extra equipment. This product is set apart from its competitors with stronger materials as well as cushioning for the hands. This equipment can easily be used for more purposes than push-ups, doing exercises such as L-sits, or even headstands.
Though the sales copy of the push-up bars says that the shape of the handles is meant to reduce wrist fatigue, but during our tests, we didn't notice any reduced pressure. However, we did notice that the design had a wide base, which will keep the equipment stable during exercise. Also, because the equipment is made out of steel, you should retain its usefulness over its lifetime.
If you're worried about your push up bars bending or breaking under your weight, these might be some of the best push up bars for you.
Just like other examples listed above, you can use these push-up bars to engage different muscle groups depending on how you position them during your workouts.
CAP Barbell PushUp Bars
I included these push-up bars as a more affordable option for people that are looking for alternative equipment to work their upper bodies. These chrome-plated push up bars are set apart from their competitors with their low price and slip-resistant foam. They're the more bare-bones version of the equipment we included in our tests.
So when we put the CAP Barbell units down on a hardwood floor, we noticed a slight degree of slippage. So, if you choose to use these on a smooth surface, it's something to keep in mind. After doing a few sets on these, we also saw that the foam grips had moved, so that's something that could become worse over time. The foam could tear. So, for these reasons, you might want to buy a pair of workout gloves as well if you plan on using these.
These are the best push up bars if you can't spend too much. That said the benefit you would get from spending a little more money on models like the ones above would be noticeable. We also noticed that these push-up bars didn't require much effort to build and put to use.
Alternatives - Best Push Up Machines
Iron Chest Master PushUp Machine
We didn't know what to make up this thing when we first laid eyes on it, but it definitely caught our interest. Because we want you to be informed about the other options out there, the other alternatives to push-up bars, we wanted to evaluate this iron chest master machine. This machine provides a wider range of motion than that you would get with push-up bars, engaging more muscles in your upper body.
Though the ads say this equipment is portable and easy to store, to us, it appeared far too large to conveniently take with you traveling. Though bulky, it seemed to be sturdy enough to last, constructed out of tough plastic and aluminum. The inclusion of resistance bands adds something that you don't get from push-up bars which are more customizable.
This machine provides an alternative that could increase your max reps with dedicated use. Overall though, you could very likely get the results you were looking for without this machine. This is mostly about the novelty because using it feels very unusual and a little more to your workout.
Power Press Original Push Up
With an original design, this Power Press Original Push Up System supports more than 30 different combo positions. You can use the multi-color positions to enjoy more push-up angles to maximize your muscle definition. It's a pretty simple system, just reposition the handle grips on the color coded board to engage the targeted muscles. You can also mix and match the position of the handles on the power press push up board for an extra challenge.
XTEK Versatile Parallettes
21.4 x 14.9 x 4.9 inches - 1 Piece
Elite Sportz Push Up Bars
12.64 x 8.11 x 4.09 inches
SmarterLife Push Up Bars
8 x 8 x 3.5 inches
Perfect Fitness Perfect Pushup Elite
10.08 x 8.43 x 6.3 inches
Withgear Folding Push Up Bar
31 x 9.2 inches
Juperbsky Push-Up Stands Bars Parallettes Set
12"x 7"x 5.5"
CAP Barbell Pair of Push Up Bars
10" x 6.5" x 5.75"
Iron Chest Master Push Up Machine
48" x 6" x 4"
Power Press Push Up - Complete Push Up Training System
36 x 16.5 x 2 inches
Videos with Workout Bar Exercises
The Best Push Up Bar Benefits
You might have thought that only an athlete or a gymnast would do so many push-ups, but there are plenty of other benefits that you should consider with the best push up bars:
- A bars push combines power and endurance
- Provides the ability to train your whole body
- You can target different muscles by changing arm widths
- Provides balance training and stability
- There are several push-up variations
Grip Width Variations
When evaluating the best push up bars, you need to know how the width of your arms may change which muscles are impacted by your exercise.
Usually, the best push up bars are used at the level of your shoulders. This is the regular positioning of the hands. But what if you want to change your hand positions?
There are seven ways to combine your grip and width positions. It means there are many different ways you can do push-ups. Arms and abdominal muscles are always involved.
When using a normal grip, you place your hands at the width of your shoulders. This exercise targets your chest muscles and triceps.
Using a narrow grip, your hands are as close together as possible. This is one good way to isolate your triceps brachii, but it is the most difficult way to do a push-up.
Using this position, your hands are more than a shoulder-width apart. This position is effective for isolating your chest and shoulder muscles.
Hands level with your stomach
This is another way to isolate different muscles and increase the difficulty of the exercise.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Push Up Bars
There are many different materials used in the manufacture of push up bars, from metal to rubber. For world-class durability, you'll want to choose the model made out of steel. But if you're concerned about wrist pain, the best push up bars for you will likely be made out of rubber or plastic. The rubber grips provide durability, and if you can find foam covers for the handles, they're a great addition.
If you're on a very tight budget, you're going to want to focus on durability and longevity. You don't want a bar there is going to break easily. The best push up bars for affordability and durability are the CAP Barbell PushUp Bars.
Some push-up bars will also include workout materials like a DVD or online videos for suggested workout regiments to do with your new equipment.
If you're going to take your push up bar with you on the road, the best push up bars are those made of steel. A lack of durability can be an issue when carried long distances.
Your Training Space
Do you plan on using your push up bars in your home gym, in the garage, or while traveling?
Are you looking for push up handles or push up bars for wrist pain? If you have a history of wrist or elbow injuries, you're going to want to consult a medical professional before using any kind of equipment to press push your arms.
Do your health issues allow for mobility, or do you need to protect your wrists? The last thing that you're going to want is a chronic injury.
Questions and Answers
Is it better to use push up bars?
Using the best push-up bars can enable an extended range of movement, meaning you will be able to lower your body further than you would when doing regular push-ups. This can make the exercise more challenging and therefore more effective in getting you the results you're looking for.
What is the point of push up bars?
The best push-up bars makes the simple exercise more challenging, allowing you to get more out of every rep. The push-up bars increase your range of motion. The science behind the results is simple: increasing your range of motion will make you stronger and build your muscles faster.
How many perfect pushups should I do per day?
You should aim to perform 100 perfect pushups every day, if possible. You can try doing sets of 5, 10, 15, and even 20 reps. One hundred perfect pushups over a 24 hour period may not seem like a lot, but by the end of one year, you'll have done at least 36,500.
What's the best push up position?
The correct position for a standard push-up is to position your hands a shoulder-width apart, or a little wider. As you bend your elbows and lower your body toward the ground, your elbows should be a 45-degree angle from your body.