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Do the Perfect Push Up and Perfect Pull Up Really Work?

Posted Feb 14 2011 7:00am

I’ve talked about the Perfect Push Up product in the past, and now there is even a Perfect Pull Up, but up until recently there hasn’t been any research on the efficacy of these devices.  That is, until now!

Two recent studies by a group from the Mayo clinic were just published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (here are the links to the two studies on the Perfect Push Up and the Perfect Pull Up ).  Results are probably not what the companies want to hear, but be sure to read my thoughts below before you judge.

To answer this question, lets look at these two studies in detail and see if using the devices changes the amount of muscle activity.

Perfect Push Up Science

During the study for the , the authors looked at EMG of the triceps, pectoralis major, serratus anterior, and posterior deltoid.  Results demonstrate that there were no significant differences when performing a standard push up versus using the Perfect Push Up.  This was shown for normal, wide, and narrow hand positions.

Perfect Pull Up Science

During the study for the , the authors looked at EMG activity for the latissimus, biceps, infraspinatus, lower trapezius, pectoralis major, erector spinae, and external oblique.  Similar to the Perfect Push Up, there was no significant difference between the pull up (or chin up – this is actually the same study that we discussed last week) using a standard straight bar or the Perfect Pull Up

Should We Use the Perfect Push Up or the Perfect Pull Up?

I still like the Perfect Push Up.  At the very least, they are great handles, which should help a lot of people perform a push up exercise and spare their wrists.  I would not jump to conclusions and say that the Perfect Push Up is useless, one muscle group that was not investigated that may still be impacted by the Perfect Push Up is the subscapularis.  The authors did not look at EMG of the subscapularis.  As a user of the Perfect Push Up, I can tell you there is a noticeable difference, most likely coming from the internal rotation of the shoulder that you achieve at full arm extension.

As for the Perfect Pull Up, I would probably pass as I don’t think there is much to them.  The twisting and mobility of the attachment does not seem to impact the exercise.

Regardless, both are fairly cheap, so if they help your wrists or even help motivate you somehow, go get ‘em!  I think they are both under $20 on Amazon at the above links.

I still like the Perfect Push Up.  What has been your experience?  Have you tried either the Perfect Push Up or the Perfect Pull Up and liked or disliked them?

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