Pushup Machine




I like to build things for one reason only. To have fun. Creating for me is a way to let my imagi...
A lot of people make the same excuse for not working out and getting in shape, "I need those machines, but they are way too expensive!" And that's true, those home gym machines are easily over a two thousand dollars (sometimes even more), and that's a lot of money. What most people don't understand is that you don't need those fancy machines, you can work out for no money at all. All you have to do is things like push ups, sit ups, squats, and running; these are things that include just your body. But, it is awesome to have a nice workout machine, and sometimes they provide better workouts for you than just using your body. So, a good workout machine is nice to have, but they are too expensive; and you don't even need one. That is why this push up machine is so great: it's cheap (less than 20 dollars, but I had some of the stuff), it works better than normal push ups, and it gets rid of your excuse not to work out. 


- I measured the pieces for this machine so that it works for me, and me only (unless you are my size). I am five foot four. So, when I write this instructable, I am using pieces that are meant for my size. If you are five feet four-ish, you are in luck; you can build it as I write it. But if you are six foot four, then you have to calculate for how big the pieces need to be for your machine. I guess you could say that this is a personalized machine.

- I am not responsible for you when you build this. 

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

          For The PVC Frame-
- 1 and 1/2 inch wide, two foot long PVC pipe
- 1 and 1/4 inch wide, five foot long PVC pipe (As I said in the notes section, you may need a bigger piece)
- (2) 1 and 1/2 inch wide PVC Tees
- (2) 1 and 1/4 inch wide PVC Couplings
- (2) 1 and 1/4 inch wide PVC Caps
          For the Wood Frame-
- About a four foot long 2 by 6 (piece of wood that I had laying around)
- A four foot long 2 by 4 (I used old fence posts)
- Nails
- Workout Tape (you might not need this)
- Weights (make sure their holes in the center are 2 inches long)
- A Friend 
- Spraypaint (optional)

- Hammmer
- Circular Saw (I used this to cut the wood because I wanted to work outside, which is always nice to do, but you could use the chop saw to cut the wood)
- Chop Saw (I used this to cut the PVC pipe, but it could cut both the PVC pipe and the wood)
- Pen (or pencil) and Marker
- Square
- Tape Measurer 
- Drill with Forester Bit

Step 2: Measuring Yourself

First, grab a friend and a tape measurer. Go into position 1, and have your friend measure you. Then, go into position 2 (try to make a right angle with you elbow), and measure that. Look at the pictures to see what position 1 and 2 are.

Alright, let's say your position 1 measurement was two ft. You would want the PVC pipe frame to be around three-four feet tall. If your position two measurement was one foot, for example, you would want the coupling at one foot high on the frame.

Step 3: Cutting the PVC Pipe

First, you need to cut your five foot long, 1 and 1/4 inch wide PVC pipe. I used a Chop Saw to cut it, but if you have something else you use to cut PVC pipe, then use that. Measure it in half, then cut it in half. Then, with each half, measure out how long your position 2 is. Then, cut a piece from the half that long. Do that to both halves of the orginal PVC pipe, so that you are left with 4 pieces. Two should be the length of your position 2, and the other two will be the excess. 

Step 4: Putting It Together

Next, you want to put the pieces together to make sure everything works o.k. Take the two position 2 pieces, and put a coupling on each of them. Then, take the excess pieces and connect those to the position 2 pieces with the couplings. Then, take the two foot long piece of PVC pipe (the one that you haven't cut) and the 2 tees. Connect each tee to the end of the PVC pipe. Take that piece you just made, and put that on top of the frame so that it slides up and down. Then, grab a friend, and have him hold the top for you. Try to do a pushup and see if it works. You do not need wights yet.

Step 5: Wood Frame

Grab a four foot long-ish 2 by 6 piece of wood (you might need more wood, you might need less). Cut it down using a saw (I used a circular saw). First, cut a piece that is the length of the bar that your back pushes against, the one that slides up and down. Then, cut two square block pieces that are six inches wide and long. Nail those to the ends of your first piece of wood that is the length of the bar. Next, cut two, 2 foot long-ish 2 by 4's (I used pieces of scrap wood).Nail those to the bottom of the frame. Then, grab a drill and a forester bit. The forester bit should be as close to the same size as the PVC pipe that makes up the frame (1 and 1/4 inch). Drill through about 2 and 1/2 inches down through where you nailed the square block of wood to the main piece of wood. Make sure the hole is center, and put it three inches away from the edge of the piece of wood. This is where the PVC pipe frame will connect to the wood frame. Do this on each side. If you are confused, look at a finished picture for reference.

Step 6: Spray Paint

Now, grab a can of spray paint. I used black, because it looks sleek; like a workout machine should be. Then, spray paint to your heart's content. Bonus points: use multiple, bright colors of spray paint, and make a tie-die pattern. You will be the envy of everyone (trust me). After you are done spray painting, let it dry.

Step 7: Put It Together

Next, put it together. You did this before as a test, but this is for real. First, take the two position 2 pieces, and put a coupling on them. Then, take the excess pieces and connect those to the position 2 pieces with the couplings. Take these 2 pieces and put them in the holes you drilled out in the wood frame. If it doesn't fit snugly, use workout tape around the bottom of the PVC frame for a more smug fit. Then, take the two foot long piece of PVC pipe (the one that you haven't cut) and the 2 tees. Connect each tee to the end of the PVC pipe. Take that piece you just made, and put that on top of the frame so that it slides up and down. Then, put some weight on it. A little weight goes a long way. Trust me, five pounds on each side is a lot. Then (and this is important too), put the caps on top. The caps will prevent the weights from flying off every time you do a push up. 

Step 8: Use It!

Now, you have to use it! It is pretty portable; meaning you can break it down into a bunch of small pieces easily. It would be great for travel. 

This push up machine:
- Improves your push up position
- Makes push ups a lot harder for you
- Gets you in shape
- Makes you stronger if you are already in shape
- Looks great
- Works great


- If you want (and you probably should), wrap an old towel (or something similar) around the bar so it gives you more comfort when doing your pushups.

You can adjust the weight, but don't do to much. This machine isn't designed to hold a lot of wight, just a little to make pushups harder for you.

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    40 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Man, just doing pushups without that machine is a pain


    4 years ago

    I like your machine, but for lazy people like me a Theraband or any other elastic band, put under your hands and going over your shoulders, is much cheaper. Just saying, your machine is still great!

    This is a good idea. I used to do push-ups with my toddler on my shoulders, but he got too big for that many years ago.

    1 reply
    Robot Lover

    8 years ago on Introduction

    At my local recreation center, there's a pull up machine that does the opposite, it takes away weight so you can start with easier reps. You should make something like this but with push ups!

    3 replies

    For push-ups, you can make them easier by doing them with your hands on a chair, steps, or low wall so you are tilted up while doing them. The other way to make them easier is to do knee push-ups with your knees on the floor and your back/hip/thigh line straight.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Now, should I make a push up machine or relax on the couch with a nice book? That is the question! Just kidding, nice 'able!

    1 reply