Take a look around the gym in any health club and you will see several different pieces of equipment that are all designed to work the same muscles. Pushups are just one example. First there were bars and stands devised for enhancing pushups. A more recent version is wedge-shaped and padded for comfort, but they aren’t much more effective than their predecessors. They do work but aren’t necessarily vital for performing pushups.
Purpose of the Stands
Team Next Level explains that, in general, pushup stands are used to improve the results you get by providing a deeper pushup than you’d get from performing them in the traditional manner. They give you a larger range of motion when you’re at the bottom of the exercise, enhancing the workout your pectorals get.
Using Pushup Stands
The best pushup stands are lightweight and have a slip-resistant material on the bottom to keep them in place while you work out. The wedge-shaped ones are designed for comfort and to distribute your weight more evenly than if you were doing traditional pushups with your hands on the floor. To use pushup stands, place them just a little wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor in front of you. Get in a typical plank position facing the floor with your legs straight. Extend your arms and grasp a pushup stand in each hand. Keeping your back and legs straight and your gaze on the floor, bend your arms to lower your body down past the stands and to the floor. Straighten your arms out, pushing up to lift your body off the floor, and come back to the starting position.
For Wrist Pain
When you do a traditional pushup, your wrists not only bear most of your bodyweight, but they also bend in an unnatural angle if you don’t practice flawless form. Stands that don’t cause your wrists to bend as extremely as they do during normal pushups could allow you to do a more effective pushup while alleviating wrist pain. That’s because they distribute your weight more evenly, taking the pressure off your wrists and recruiting your entire forearm to pitch in and help support your weight.
Are They Necessary?
Specialized pushup stands may alleviate wrist pain and enhance your workout, but they aren’t vital for performing pushups. The wrist discomfort problem can be resolved without any accessories at all if you focus on keeping your weight on the outsides of your hands when they’re on the floor, according to HitchFit. Alternatively, Men’s Health advises doing pushups on your knuckles instead of with your palms flat on the ground. Make a fist with each hand and position them on the floor, knuckles to the ground and palms facing in. For those just starting out, a traditional pushup will challenge you enough, but if you’ve plateaued and feel like you want to take your workout up a notch, any pushup stand will increase your range of motion for a more demanding workout.