I have to admit here to being wrong on the Perfect Pushup. I initially doubted that these devices had merit. In the past year or so, I’ve seen a number of people in the strength training world admit that the pushup is neglected as a legitimate exercise and some even go so far as to declare them a better chest builder than even the vaunted bench press. The trouble for the exercise world, as I saw it, was how do you make money off an exercise that didn’t require equipment to sell? I saw a possible answer in the Perfect Pushup: make a rotating handle for pushups and call them the Perfect Pushup. That title somewhat implies that the normal pushup is somehow imperfect. It made me skeptical, especially since they retail for a steep $40.00.
I could see some merit in the concept. Muscle fibers in the body aren’t all arranged in the same manner. Some get arranged in a parallel manner. Others are circular. The shoulders are laid out in a pattern known as multi-pennate. In this arrangement, the fibers look somewhat like a feather, wrapped together in a spiral manner. This means that the contraction isn’t straight; it’s a spiral-like movement. So, a rotating of the shoulders during the pushup movement engages the shoulder muscles in a much more direct and intense manner. There is more deltoid fiber used. Still, I just felt like it might be a gimmick.
Since I figured that I had no money to lose if I got these rotating handles as a Christmas gift, I placed them on my Christmas list. I got them on Christmas and tried them out the next day for my shoulder and chest workout. Frankly, the potency of the pushup stunned me. The DVD that came with them claimed that they’d drop your rep count by about 1/3 and they were on the money. With my feet elevated two feet, I managed only 20 reps rather than my normal 30-35. They really drained out my shoulders by the time I went do my handstand pushups. I can say without a doubt that the concept of rotating the shoulders during a pushup will create a more difficult pushup.
Are the Perfect Pushups worth it? I wasn't 100% sold at $40.00. They are a well-made tool. The handles are comfortable. They don’t feel flimsy at all. The handles rotate very easily on their ball bearings. The rubber grip on the bottom is very non-slip, even on hardwood flooring. The 17 minute DVD was certainly helpful too. I guess in there are far more foolish ways to spend two Andy J’s, especially in the fitness world. I didn't have to worry about that an apparantly, neither do you. I've been hearing that they're dropping down to only $20.00. I would buy them for that price for sure.
I will say this: The idea of rotating the shoulders during a pushup is definitely valid. My shoulders were worked considerably more with the rotation than without. I use these things very frequently when I workout these days. I am officially converted and reccomending the Perfect Pushup.