The fitness industry is rife with fads, whether they be products (e.g., the thigh master) or exercise trends (Zumba, Taibo, etc.). I don’t think trends are entirely bad. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a variety of fitness and exercise modes, as long as you don’t think the latest one is the be all and end all of exercise modes, instead of a way of just introducing some variety. Nonetheless I am wary of the trends in fitness, since they are mostly a way of creating change for the sake of change, much like the fashion system.
One trendy fitness product that I think is very innovative and useful however, so much so that I paid the premium to buy the product early on, is the Perfect Pushup and its variants. There was a major TV infomercial campaign for the Perfect Pushup a few years ago, and while I didn’t order from TV, I went to a sporting goods store a few weeks later and purchased them.
The PP is a set of two pushups handles that allow you to rotate your shoulders in the anterior direction as you do the pushup. Because of the anatomy of the shoulder, full arm extension require anterior shoulder rotation. Even with regular pushups and bench presses, you do a slight anterior shoulder rotation as part of the proper form of doing the exercises. The PP takes this to the next logical step, allowing for much greater rotation. It also allows you to engage your lats and other muscles groups that are hard to recruit when doing conventional pushups. The Perfect Pushup and its imitators generally run about $30.
I can attest that after two months of using the PP about twice a week, I was able to do 20 one-arm pushups with either arm (I had previously been able to do only a few). I think that’s a great testimonial.