When guys discover the bench press, they tend to forget about the pushup. That’s a mistake, since pushups can be an asset to your bench training. Add a resistance band to them and you can send your poundages soaring.

Use a continuous-loop exercise band—the Pro Light band sold at elitefts.com is ideal. Grasp an “end” in each hand and wrap the band around the back of your shoulders. Get into pushup position and press your palms into the floor to anchor the band. Perform pushups, tucking your elbows close to your sides as you descend.

How to Use It
Perform band-resisted pushups after your main pressing exercise. Complete 4–5 sets of 6–8 reps. For a bigger pump and more muscle size, use a lighter tension band and do sets of 20 reps.

Because the band gradually adds resistance over the course of the movement, you have to push faster in order to lock out your elbows. This builds the explosive speed you need to finish big bench presses.


To alter the effect, try these modifications

  1. Use dumbbells. hold a dumbbell in each hand, as well as the end of the band. The weights will raise you higher off the floor so you can lower yourself deeper into the pushup.  A greater range of motion equals more muscle activation.
  2. Elevate your feet (shown above). Changing the angle of your pushup places more direct stress on the chest.
  3. Add another band. Increasing the tension and lowering the reps turns the band0resistant pushups into a more potent strength exercise, but it’s still easier on the joints than adding weight to a barbell.