Perfect Pushups are a single-exercise product designed to help you get more out of your pushups. They come in a Basic and Elite version, but we find that there isn’t a huge difference between the two, so this review will cover them both, noting the major differences as we go.
Let’s get into it!
Perfect Pushups Review – Basic and Elite
|Effectiveness in workouts|
|Design and quality|
|Ease of use|
|Value for money|
Effectiveness in workouts
Perfect Pushups are said to ‘take the classic pushup to the next level’. Now, we all know that pushups are a great exercise that works the chest (pectoralis muscles), arms (triceps), shoulders (deltoids), and to a lesser extent the abdominals and upper back (trapezius), so any piece of equipment that can make them even better is worth a look, right? Here’s how they’re supposed to work:
The rotating handles are said to produce a more natural movement of the arms, similar to throwing a punch. This supposedly activates your muscles more intensely than a classic pushup where the hand position remains stationery, which in theory will produce greater gains in strength and size. At least one study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that this wasn’t the case – regular pushups activated the relevant muscles just as strongly as Perfect Pushups.
The rotating motion is also said to minimize the stress placed on the various joints being used during a push up, i.e. the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints. This is certainly true for the wrist and shoulder. If you experience wrist or shoulder pain during regular pushups, then certainly look into some Perfect Pushups because the rotating movement will alleviate some of that pain. This is less true for the elbow joint – Perfect Pushups don’t seem to make much difference to those with injured elbow joints. It is worth noting that Perfect Pushups can also make lower back pain worse, but this is due to the added difficulty of the pushup causing people with weaker cores to sag their backs more.
Range of motion
With handles that are elevated off the ground, Perfect Pushups allow you to lower your chest past your hands. This extra range of motion forces your muscles to work harder to get you back up, making pushups more difficult, and certainly accelerating muscle development. This can be a double-edged sword though. The deeper range of motion actually places more stress on your shoulder – in particular your rotator cuffs (small muscles that help stabilize the shoulder joint) – and can increase the likelihood of injury. This really just means that you have to be careful while using them, not push yourself too hard, and stop immediately if you feel any strain / pain in your shoulder. And, as with all of your workouts, make sure you warm up and cool down properly with a variety of dynamic stretching exercises.
The Perfect Pushups’ rotating handles also create a bit of instability during your pushups, which forces your core muscles to work harder in order to stabilize your body. Therefore, Perfect Pushups will work your abdominals and other core muscles more intensely. However, if you don’t already have a decent amount of strength through your core, this may cause your lower back to sag more during the movement, which will increase the likelihood of a lower back injury.
Design and quality
Both versions of Perfect Pushup are made from good quality, durable material. The shells are a hard plastic that will withstand a lot of good workouts. The Elite is made a bit tougher, and has a weight capacity of 400 lb (compared to 300 lb for the Basic), which means that you’ll be able to do advanced exercises like weighted pushups with them, no problems. Keep in mind; the Elite’s extra toughness comes with extra weight. The Elite weighs 2 lb (0.9 kg) compared to 1.08 lb (0.5 kg) for the Basic.
Both Perfect Pushups have good quality rubber handles; however the Elite’s handles are padded whereas the Basic’s are not. Both versions also have rubber tread on the bottom that makes them grip to whatever floor you’re on. Perfect Pushups should grip securely to any kind of surface (hardwood, laminate, tile, etc.), so if you’re finding that they’re slipping during your pushups, we suggest you monitor your technique closely and make sure you’re pushing straight down and not sideways at all.
The ball bearing system inside the platforms that allows the rotating movement works well in both the Basic and Elite versions; it’s nice and smooth and we don’t expect you’ll have any problems with it.
Ease of use
How easy you find it to use Perfect Pushups will really depend on how easy you find regular pushups. If you have no trouble with them and maintain good technique, you’ll find Perfect Pushups just add some extra intensity to your workout. If you struggle to do regular pushups with good technique, you’ll likely find Perfect Pushups hard to use. It’s purely a strength and technique thing: work on these first and then move onto Perfect Pushups for the extra benefit.
Also, you can do pretty much any pushup variation with Perfect Pushups – close grip, wide grip, feet on a chair, etc. In the box, you’ll receive a basic workout chart, which will help get you started using your Perfect Pushups by giving you some sample pushup workouts. We’ve heard that some people haven’t received the workout chart with their Perfect Pushups. You can find it plus a bunch of other instructional materials here.
Value for money
Perfect Pushups are relatively inexpensive, and do have a lot to offer. Sure you can buy some pushup stands to give your pushups a greater range of motion. Or you could get a Bosu-style balance ball to add some instability to your pushups. But Perfect Pushups incorporate both of these things, as well as the rotation movement to reduce the stress on your joints. They’re relatively inexpensive so if you want to, or already do, make pushups a significant part of your bodyweight workouts, then they’re definitely worth the money.
Ultimately, Perfect Pushups are a solid piece of single-exercise equipment. They’ll add difficulty to your pushups, and therefore increase the benefit you get from an already great exercise.
However, please be aware of the risks: if you have a serious pre-existing shoulder or elbow injury then these may not be the equipment for you. Also, make sure you do a good warm up and cool down before and after using them, paying special attention to your wrists and shoulders.
Thanks for reading the review. Leave any questions or comments you have in the comments section below.
All the best with your home workouts! Remember, when it comes to your health and fitness, you can make the effort or you can make excuses, but you can’t make both.
THFF – The Home Fit Freak