Head over to your local drug store and, next to the other crap marked “As Seen on TV,” you’ll find these Push Up Pros – not to be confused with the Perfect Push-up which is essentially exactly the same device but with a padded hand-rest. But does it really work?
So who is the Zatorski character? Well, he’s some sort of world push-up record holder, so that’s nice. Does that qualify him as a push-up expert? Probably not, be these things – with some caveats – do improve your standard calisthenic workout.
The concept is simple: These things help you use more muscle groups while exercising and keep you considerably straighter and in better form during each rep. Although it’s hard to believe, I’ve been doing push-ups and sit-ups for years and have definitely fallen into some bad habits. Because a push-up is only as good as your form, I might as well be doing disco moves for all the good they were doing me.
To use them, you set them at horizontal and then, as you push up, rotate them to vertical. That’s it. Then you do a bunch of them for a long time. The handles are definitely hard on the hands but if you’re not that heavy – and I’m pretty damn heavy – you’ll survive.
I started using these about two months ago and I can, in fact, feel and see a difference. I’m not saying I’m Jack Lalane, but the change in my push-up style has helped me maintain a straight back and shoulders while reducing the total number of reps. Interestingly, these make push-ups harder and you can only do a few reps before reaching a point of exhaustion.
Could you replace a real weight work-out? Absolutely not. You can, however, do a few nice push-ups and get some minor definition. If you’ve never done a push up in your life, these will keep you in line as you work your way up to a few dozen push-ups per day. Are they worth about $20 or whatever you’ll pay at the drug store? Sure. If you’re looking to mix things and do a few push-ups that will actually do something to your man-boobs and guns, give them a try.