Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for Best push-up bars

Are you ready to try something new in your exercise routine? Push-up bars take a traditional exercise into fun, challenging territory. By elevating your upper body, you are forced to adjust your posture and form, which engages several muscle groups for a total body workout.

Push-up bars come in three varieties, so no matter what kind of challenge you’re looking for, there’s a style that suits your workout. Low-sitting bars are ideal for beginners who are just getting used to a new routine, whereas tall bars are beloved by intense fitness gurus who seek the most challenging exercises for balance and strength training. For those who want options and versatility, instability sets are a fun addition to any workout space.

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Push-up bars are a space-savvy option to practice dips instead of using large, expensive equipment like weight benches or step platforms.

Key considerations

Benefits of push-up bars

Push-up bars are designed to change the way you perform this classic exercise. Because you can lower yourself closer to the ground than with normal push-ups, push-up bars give you a greater range of motion and a more challenging workout. In addition, they can be used for a variety of workouts and allow you to easily adjust your width and position without putting extra stress on your wrists.

  • Hand and wrist relief: Push-up bars are known for adding a challenge to workouts, but they also provide positional relief to your hands and wrists. Some individuals struggle with the traditional position of hands and wrists in regular push-ups, and push-up bars adjust your overall alignment — which also includes your elbows and shoulders. As a result, you can maximize the intensity of your workout and minimize risks of injury by using push-up bars with proper form.

  • Cheaper than other equipment: Push-up bars are cost-effective options to larger, more expensive fitness equipment. If you’re willing to research the different exercises, applications, and routines, you’ll find they’re incredibly versatile. They’re cheaper than benches or machines for dips, which are a staple exercise in any training program. Push-up bars are also alternatives to free weights and weight machines. Depending on how you use them, you can isolate muscle groups or perform compound exercises.

  • Bring them anywhere: These small yet effective pieces of exercise equipment are ideal to bring anywhere. If you live in a dorm or apartment, you’re already short on space — so push-up bars provide an in-room exercise option that can be easily stowed after use. Travelers who don’t want to miss a workout often opt to bring push-up bars with them, especially since there are now foldable styles. Professionals who like to utilize micro-workouts during a break or lunch hour often keep push-up bars in their offices as well.

Expert Tip
Push-ups are one of the most effective exercises to build upper body strength since they target the chest, triceps, anterior deltoid, and core. I recommend performing them on non-consecutive days to allow recovery and minimize strain on the wrists, elbows & shoulders.
BestReviews Fitness Expert


  • Traditional bars: Traditional push-up bars are low-sitting, averaging around 5 inches off the ground. They’re ideal for the average person working out since they are simple to use and affordable. While it looks like the elevation won’t make much of a difference in your routine, the modest clearance is just enough to add a challenge.

  • Tall bars: Tall push-up bars are closer to 12 inches off the ground and are generally longer. These are often used by individuals who try advanced exercises, such as handstands and other balancing exercises. Because the center of gravity isn’t as low as in traditional sets, it’s common for these push-up bars to be bolted to the ground in a fitness center to prevent accidents. Freestanding tall bars may have wider feet to increase stability.

  • Stability training sets: Stability training sets have grown in popularity, as they offer the benefits of traditional push-up bars with the versatility of other equipment. They’re often used by those who practice Crossfit, P90X, Pilates, and yoga. As one can imagine, they’re most often used by seasoned training athletes who have graduated from traditional or tall bar styles.

    Instead of the level platform seen in other push-up bars, stability training sets introduce the challenge of destabilized platforms. They’re designed to change the center of gravity beneath you, which forces you to engage your entire body to rebalance the platforms. Given their advanced difficulty level, they’re only recommended for individuals who aren’t nursing wrist, hand, elbow, or shoulder injuries.

    Stability training sets come in several varieties, but there are three main styles. The first group is composed of sets that offer more than one way to hold the bars. In these, there are up to three variations of stability and difficulty due to changes to the center of gravity between them. The second group includes crescent-shaped styles, which rock or tilt if you change or destabilize your grip. Lastly, there are those which rotate on a round disc, which you can rotate 90 degrees between push-up positions. While the platform is stable, the change in grip position is where stability is challenged.

Weight capacity

Push-up bars are designed with impressive weight capacities, which generally fall between 500 and 600 pounds. As a result, they can support the weight of individuals of all sizes and can hold up through years of use. With that said, given the variations in push-up bars, it’s recommended to consider the nature of your exercise when using them. For tall individuals who weigh over 250 pounds, low-sitting bars may be a better option than high-clearance ones. While the weight capacity does not vary between these types, the center of gravity does — which is why certain people opt to purchase more than one style of push-up bar.

Expert Tip
When performing pushups, make sure to point your elbows at 45 degrees towards your hips to optimize shoulder stability and mobility.
BestReviews Fitness Expert



Push-up bars are easy to recognize with their C-shaped design. The bar is perpendicular to a pair of horizontal legs, which distribute weight across the floor. Bars are usually made of steel, as they have to support a significant amount of weight of an individual. There are some bars made of wood, though these tend to have much lower weight capacities and are somewhat hard to find.

Hand grips

Push-up bars can be equipped with hand grips to soften the handles during use. Commercial-grade foam is the most popular material, and it’s typically molded for an ergonomic fit into your hands. There are also rubber grips, which can be molded or completely smooth. Rubber grips are less common on everyday push-up bars and are more often seen in gym-quality sets.

Non-slip feet

Some push-up bars feature non-slip feet to prevent them from slipping around on the floor during use. This is an essential feature to consider, especially if your workout space has a hardwood or linoleum floor. Non-slip feet are usually made of rubber and often feature gripping nubs to promote traction. In some sets, the non-slip area will span the entire surface of the bars that come into contact with the floor, and in others, it will be limited to only the ends of the feet.

Push-up bar prices

Generally speaking, push-up bars are affordable fitness equipment, as they’re priced between $13 and $80. Simple push-up bars tend to cost less, but if you’re looking for bars that accommodate multiple applications, expect to spend on the higher end of the scale.


Basic push-up bars cost between $13 and $20. Sets in this range generally include the traditional, low-sitting styles, though there are foldable and instability sets also found here.


In this range, push-up bars are priced between $20 and $40, and include advanced sets that are designed for use in multiple exercises. These include taller bar styles, as well as instability sets with unique designs.

Expert Tip
A great way to add a progression to your pushup routine is to elevate your feet on steps, an exercise platform, or even an exercise ball. This will transfer most of your body towards your chest & shoulders and require you to push up more weight.
BestReviews Fitness Expert


For premium, gym-quality push-up bars, expect to spend between $40 and $80. Bars in this range are mostly manufacturers for commercial fitness centers, so the quality is superior, and they tend to have greater weight capacities.


  • Massage your hands and wrists after using push-up bars. Your hands and wrists hold the brunt of your weight with push-up bars, so massage them with lotion or oil after use to loosen up tightness and promote circulation.

  • Avoid using push-up bars if you have wrist injuries. Because you’ll need to balance a lot of weight on your wrists with push-up bars, avoid using them if you have weak wrists or are treating a wrist injury.

  • Store push-up bars out of the way. Push-up bars are low to the ground, so it’s easy to trip over them if they’re left on the floor. After each use, store them against a wall or in a corner or place them inside a closet.

  • Inspect hardware frequently. If your push-up bars required assembly, perform a cursory safety look to ensure all hardware is tightened. Double-check the hardware from time to time, especially if you have a folding set.
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Push-up bars are ideal for traditional push-ups, but if you want to take your training to the next level, you can research new ways to use them for core and balance training in different positions.


Q. Will push-up bars damage my hardwood floors?

A. Any time something comes into contact with hardwood floors, there’s always a concern for nicks, scuffs, or dents. To preserve your floors, place a fitness mat over the area you intend to use your push-up bars. It will pad the surface and absorb shock, which should keep damage at bay. While it’s not 100% preventive, it is effective at minimizing damage.

Q. The foam handle grips are damaged and coming apart on my push-up bars. What are my options to fix or replace them?

A. While you could re-wrap them with athletic tape or another layer of foam, it’s not the safest option. The foam is designed to promote a safe grip, so once it’s compromised, you are at risk for instability and could injure yourself. Your best bet is to contact the manufacturer to see whether they offer any product protection, or simply buy a new set.

Q. Aren’t push-up bars single-use equipment?

A. Push-up bars are highly versatile, which is why so many types of exercises and fitness disciplines incorporate them into training. Even if you’re using them for simple push-ups, there are plenty of variations to explore with foot alignment and bar spacing — all of which will target different muscle groups. Push-up bars are also used in fitness programs like Crossfit, Pilates, and yoga. In these classes, you’ll find that instructors are creative and teach a broad range of techniques and uses for push-up bars.

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