Check out these push up bars designed by Joseph Pilates himself and manufactured by Gratz today. They are super cool looking and super challenging to use!
They're taller and heavier than most push up bars. When you step back into a plank position, place your hands on the bars, and do push ups, you not only feel the work in your arms, you feel it in your core immediately. You can even feel your inner thighs working towards each other.
Regular push-ups are part of the classical order of a pilates mat routine, and these bars really enhance the exercise!
Here's how they work: due to the height of the bars, when your body lowers into the push up, you move further down towards the mat than you would without the bars. To get back up, your core kicks in big time to help the arms.
Using these bars can help you find the proper way push ups should feel in general. Its not just an exercise for your arms. If you don't maintain strength in your core while pushing up and down, you'll feel push ups in your low back.
The position of your hands on these bars is as follows: fingers to the outsides, thumbs on the inside.
You can also use these push-up bars for tricep presses! All you have to do is turn around to face the other way, fingers outside and thumbs inside, and dip away!
These bars can also help if you feel wrist pain during push ups. They change the angle of your wrist, so its not pressed down into the mat and instead remains long.
Unless you have a specific wrist or back injury, wrist pain is most likely all about your form. For more information about wrist pain in plank or push up positions, see my post: "Wrist Pain in Plank Positions":