Push Up Board
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Push Up Board

Push Up Board

The pushup board is a millenias old device traditionally used in strength training.  With over  40 different moves your body will love the Push UP Board.



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Push Up Board/DVD Bundle

Push Up Board with Steve Maxwell DVD Get both the push up board and the DVD in this bundle and learn from world class athlete and trainer Steve Maxwell, famous for his creative ways to maximize workouts. Length: 39 mins




Push Up Board ----Click Basket to order >

Push Up Board
Push Up Board Ancient pushup board design based on those used for centuries in the Middle East. Still used by world class athletes and trainers. USA made of solid hardwood.

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Steve Maxwell Push Up Board DVD
Steve Maxwell Push Up Board DVD Get this great instructional DVD and learn from world class athlete and trainer Steve Maxwell, famous for his creative ways to maximize workouts. Length: 39 mins




What is a pushup board? The pushup board is a millenias old device traditionally used in strength training.

Can't I make my own? Of course you can! We save you time and effort by offering a well built pushup board made in a family owned carpentry shop that has been woodworking for generations. If you do decide to make your own we recommend getting the DVD. The video shows the underlying concepts that you will use to strengthen the entire body as well as the proper form to use for the many moves shown.

What are the benefits? The goal would seem to be just improving your pushups; however, using the push-up board according to the instructions in the video includes all major muscle groups. It may be the only device allowing alignment and strengthening work to the lower body structures as well as the upper body structures.

Why should I use one? It gives better engagement of core musculature. The board's structure provides a stable platform for a host of full-body push-up movements involving every fiber of the body's core. Using the push-up board enhances abdominal development and definition in a way that sit-ups or other abdominal exercises NEVER could.

Isn't it just another new product? This same basic design has been in use over 2000 years! There are many world class athletes who take one with them when traveling and use it in the majority of their routines.


History of the Push Up Board

Ancient Tool for Modern Warriors

Today, the push up is used by military, athletes, trainers, physical fitness educators, law enforcement and individuals throughout the world as both a physical training exercise and a test of strength and endurance. This simple exercise, and it's variations, has been used for millenia. Along the way the ancients developed the push up board, a tool that increases the benefits of this age old exercise.

Sport of the Ancients

The original push up boards and their use have roots in ancient Media, now northern Iran. According to Herodotus, the 5th Century BC Greek historian, the Medes included physical training when instructing their youth, mainly for military purposes. By the time of the Parthian Empire (238 BC - 224 AD) this had developed into Varzesh-e Pahlavani (Persian, meaning the "Sport of the Heroes"), also known as Varzesh-e Bastani(meaning the "Sport of the Ancients") or simply as Pahlavani.

Eventually some of the Pahlavani traditions and instruments made there way into the Indo-Pakistan territories and merged with Hatha Yoga and the indigenous style of Indian wrestling, Malla-yuddha. Called Pehlwani, this mixture of Persia and India had a wider array of exercises which continued to develop during the British occupation of India after the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

In modern Iran, the Pahlavani (which translates literally as "hero") practice the more traditional Persian disciplines in the Zurkhaneh (house of power or strength). A covered structure lit by a single opening in the ceiling, having interior walls filled with images and photographs showing it's history, the Zurkhaneh has a small pit (gaud) in the floor where the Pahlavani follow the movements of the most senior athlete. Almost all Pahlavaniexercises are accompanied by the rythmic drum beats of the Murshed while he chants traditional battle poetries.

Combat Specific Strength Conditioning

The Pahlavani historically developed their skills and strength as preparation for invaders and the tools used all have their roots in ancient warfare instruments:

Meel (the Club) a pair of heavy wooden clubs weighing 5 to 40 kilograms that evolved from ancient iron maces.

Kabadeh (the Bow) a bow shaped iron rod with a chain attached between both ends, generally with sixteen links each containing six discs. The bows weighing between 10 to 50 kilograms are swung overhead and around the body.

Sang (the Shield) Made of solid wood in the shape of shields which weigh 60 to 120 kilograms, are 120 centimeters long and 70 centimeters wide. They are used in a rolling floor press manner, alternating the press of each one while combined with a twisting motion of the legs.

Takhteh Shena (the Bar) from which "Dands" or "Hindu pushups" derived. Performed on a push up board that is approximately 50 -75 cm length & 10 centimeters thick with two little legs, they included joint specific mobility exercises.

In addition, there were several bodyweight-only exercises included such as: 

Spinning - for preparing to fight multiple attackers 

Stomping - a dance of practicing kicks 

Squatting - a specific style intertwined with the ritual dance as part of strengthening the legs for kicking. It is from this dance that Bethaks or "Hindu squats" derived, though they were not performed in very high volume, and only as part of the ritual dance.

Ancient Tool - The Push Up Board

Using the push up board (Takhteh Shena) the Pahlavani perform push ups (Shena Raftan) in as large a circle as the Zurkhaneh pit can hold and with their backs to the wall and their legs wide open, they bend down and support their weight on their hands which they have placed on the push up board. The traditional objectives of “Shena Raftan” are to improve moral & ethical behavior as well as for strength conditioning.

Modern Warriors

Push up boards are used by today's warriors the world over: from the average person trying to get in shape up to soldiers, world class athletes and their trainers. The push up itself uses nearly every muscle in the body: pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats, abs, glutes, quads, obliques, and many others. When combined with today's understanding of body mechanics, irradiation, compression breathing, high tension and other modern training techniques the push up board intensifies the workout, giving a total body conditioning in a brief period. A combination that spans millenia...ancient tools and modern warriors.


Pushing Yourself to Higher Levels of Condition

Steve Maxwell

There are countless training and conditioning tools out there but one that's stood time's test is the push-up board. Push-ups can certainly be done on the ground, but by slightly elevating the surface, the movement is greatly enhanced. There are currently several push-up devices on the market that make use of the raised handle; however, the original and best is the push-up board, which goes back millennia, to a time when being in top physical shape literally meant survival in battle.

Imagine standing toe-to-toe, locked in combat, sword in hand, looking into the eyes of your enemy as you tried to kill one another! Do you think there is anything modern man could teach the ancient warrior about combat conditioning? I don't think so. But I'm sure we can learn much from men whose lives depended on their physical prowess in hand-to-hand combat.

The push-up board is very popular in the middle East and parts of Asia. The board originated in Persia and was brought by the Palovan princes to India. Later, its use spread to Burma and Thailand. Used primarily by wrestlers and martial artists, it was also adopted by physical culturists, whose interests were balanced muscular development.

An ancient tradition that has survived through today is the Zoorkhane. In Persian, this means "House of Power". I watched a video tape one of my jiu-jitsu students brought to me when he returned from a stay in Iran. He was visiting his parents and took the time to check out the local Zoorkhane. Additionally, he brought me the gifts of a push-up board and two wooden mils, or clubs. I became fascinated with the Zoorkhane rituals, the push-up sequences, and club swinging.

When the World Free Style Wrestling Championships were at Madison Square Garden in New York City, 2003, I went with the idea of writing an article about conditioning. I interviewed several Irani team members, including two former world champions. They emphasized that the Zoorkhane traditions, along with the folk-style wrestling they practice, was instrumental to their success.

I train religiously with my push-up board and appreciate the results: a more resilient, flexible elbow and shoulder girdle, increased spinal mobility and tremendous strength/endurance in the arms, chest and shoulders. These attributes have well-served me in my own athletic career, especially in jiu-jitsu. I also credit the push-up board with anti-aging benefits, because of the yoga-like movements which develop suppleness in the spine. The push-up board, combined with body weight rows or pull-ups, provides a complete and balanced upper body workout.

Steve Maxwell


Ten Reasons I Use A Push Up Board

Steve Maxwell

For more than 15 years I've used a push-up board for the majority of my body-weight upper-body pushing exercises. It's a simple, efficient and economical tool that delivers results no other similar device can. Here are ten reasons I use my push-up board:

1. The push-up board is easier on the wrists. As a trainer, one of the major complaints I hear is either push-ups aggravate pre-existing wrist problems or, worse, create them. Not so with a push-up board. Other push-up devices, such as the Perfect Push-Up, alleviate wrist problems in certain push-up exercises while compounding wrist strain in others.

2. Less strain on the elbows because the hands are in a more natural alignment and the board is actually gripped, you can keep the elbows rolled inward (with the pit of the elbow forward and the point of the elbow back) yoga-style, thus they flex in a more natural pattern.

3. Less shoulder strain once the wrists and elbows are held in proper alignment, the shoulders are able to engage in a more natural way, alleviating the shoulder pain and injury consequent to most push-up movements. People who do a lot of push-ups usually complain of considerable front-shoulder pain and discomfort. This is not so with the push-up board, leading us to reason #4...

4. Better lat and sub-scapular muscle engagement because the push-up board design interconnects the hands (as opposed to two separate push-up handles) you're able to pull yourself down during the negative/eccentric part of the movement. True, this can be done without the board, but the board makes it MUCH easier to learn this action and follow through. Regular use of the push-up board creates much greater balance in shoulder girdle development. This is mainly due to a specific "cork-screw" action of the hands and elbows (which I teach in my seminars and DVDs) and is difficult, at best, to perform without the board.

5. More muscle fiber recruitment in arms, shoulders and chest. The gripping and squeezing action of the hands upon the board gives rise to a process known as irradiation. Irradiation, a muscle tension principle (which I also fully explain in my workshops) instantly increases muscular strength, sometimes as much as 15%.

6. Better engagement of core musculature The board's structure provides a stable platform for a host of full-body push-up movements involving every fiber of the body's core. Here's the money quote: Using the push-up board has without a doubt enhanced my abdominal development and definition in a way that sit-ups or other abdominal exercises NEVER could.

7. Deeper stretching of the spine and hip flexors The old-time physical culturists knew that you're only as young--or old--as your spine. One bane of modern civilization is chronic tightness in the hamstrings hip flexors resulting from prolonged sitting in chairs. Most civilized people spend the majority of their time seated either before their desks or within their automobiles--is this you? This posture shortens these critical muscles of movement, additionally promoting an unseemly curvature of the upper spine: the dreaded hyper-kyphotic curve, or dowager hump, prevalent in today's society...and not just among the elderly.

The antidote to these ills? Regularly working up a lather on your trusty push-up board, which unlocks the spine and hip flexors. this directly plays into reason #8...

8. Lengthening of the calves and hamstrings The all-important hamstrings, because of continual bent-leg positioning, become drastically shortened, along with the musculature of the calves. When the calf muscles are shortened and tight, a veritable cascade of problems occur in the ankles and feet, in turn transferring locomotive impact forces into the knees, hips and lower back. opening, i.e., lengthening the calf muscles is a priority in re-mediating these problems. A time-honored yoga asana, the downward-facing dog, is a thousands year-old counter-action.

The problem with the downward dog pose is it's typically difficult for most people to perform correctly. By slightly elevating the hands on the push-up board, this posture is more accessible to all but the most flexible. The push-up board is the only device of which I'm aware allowing alignment and strengthening work to the lower body structures as well as the upper body structures. Which brings us to #9...

9. The push-up board catalyzes a wide variety of whole-body movements impossible to do on other push-up devices The push-up board enables strengthening of every body muscle, including the legs!

10. The push-up board is a two thousand year-old tradition I am in love with the concept of training as an ancient warrior. The push-up board follows this precept of ancient tools for modern warriors. I hold a deep skepticism of most modern contrivances. In spite of our technological advances, I've witnessed a steady decline in the health and robustness of men everywhere. Modern science hasn't produced solutions to the epidemic of general softening. I say, let us hearken back to a time where men understood how to be men and used the traditional tools that built healthy, functional and beautiful bodies.

Steve Maxwell