Push-up exercises are one of the oldest and cheapest ways of maintaining fitness. Further, it is the inherent part of calisthenic fitness programs that target multiple muscle groups.
With bodyweight exercises like push-ups, a significant drawback is an inability to overload muscles as you build up strength with training progressively. Banded push-ups can play a crucial role in making your push-ups more challenging with time.
Here, I am going to explain the best possible ways to perform banded push-ups using some props/furniture commonly found in houses.
The methods, I would be suggesting, shall also resolve the common challenges/difficulties that everybody faces while doing banded push-ups.
So what is the method for performing banded push-ups? The banded push-ups are performed by wrapping the loop resistance band around the upper shoulder and holding the loop ends between the index finger and thumb of both hands. Press the ends of the resistance bands against the floor while keeping the body in the plank position. Now lower the body while inhaling until elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Again move the body upwards while exhaling until arms are fully extended.
There are several issues faced by athletes while doing the push-up as per the above technique. I shall be discussing those challenges later on.
So stick with me as I demystify some unique ways of doing banded push-ups.
Here is the index-
|3.||Best methods to perform banded push-ups|
|a.||Parallel Resistance banded push-ups|
|b.||Crossed Resistance banded push-ups|
|c.||Weighted Resistance banded push-ups|
|4.||Bonus tips for beginners while doing a banded push-ups|
❝ Hi, I am Ravi, your companion and a passionate fitness athlete, cyclist, runner, gym enthusiast who just loves the concept of resistance bands for their extreme flexibility. I have been using resistance bands as one of my primary fitness equipment for the last many years ❞
Let us begin…
1) Why should I be doing banded push-ups?
If you are looking for ways to perform banded push-ups like you are doing right here. Then you must be aware of how useful these push-ups can be. So I am not going to annoy you by providing unnecessary technical know-how of push-up exercise.
However, it is worth knowing the value that resistance bands add to the conventional push-up exercise. Every exercise we perform has a corresponding strength curve of muscles, which is the function of joint angle vs. torque developed by the muscles.
Push-up is one such exercise where the strength curve of engaged muscles is ascending in nature. That means, when we are at the lowest position of the push-up, the muscles are weak, and we cannot uphold that position for a longer duration.
However, when you start extending arms and moving back in the upper direction, muscles can generate more torque.
Then how resistance bands assist you while doing push-ups?
The resistance bands also have a strength curve, which is ascending in nature, similar to the strength curve of targeted muscles in the push-up exercise. So, when the muscles are not able to produce enough torque during the bottommost position of the push-up exercise, the resistance bands also provides a minimum resistance.
As you move from the bottommost position upwards, the muscles start creating more torque. The resistance bands in response even start providing higher resistance to challenge the stronger muscles.
In this way, the resistance bands are the best companion for a push-up workout routine when it comes to increasing the intensity of push-up repetitions.
2) Who is eligible for doing banded push-ups?
Banded push-up intensifies the basic push-ups. That means anybody who can perform bodyweight push-ups for 10 to 15 repetitions is eligible for banded push-ups.
That does not mean that you should go all out with resistance bands aided push-ups in the first attempt. The resistance bands work very differently from the free weights. They provide a variable resistance, which makes the workouts harder during the later stages as compared to the initial stages.
📑 To know more about how variable resistance of resistance bands makes them different from free weights- check this well-shaped article – Resistance bands vs. Free weights – Ultimate Visual Guide
So it is recommended to do inclined or standing push-ups while using resistance bands at the beginning to avoid overtraining of muscle fibers.
With progression and getting used to the resistance bands, you can increase the size of exercise bands and perform the standard banded push-up on the floor.
3) Best methods to perform banded push-ups
Let us first discuss the most conventional way of doing banded push-ups. In this manner, you shall be able to recognize the benefits that the alternative approaches can bring in your push-up routines.
A) Parallel resistance banded push-ups-
In this conventional method, we hold the ends of the resistance band between the index fingers and thumb of both hands.
After that, the power loop band is wrapped around the upper shoulder while holding the loop ends in both hands.
So what is the issue with banded push-ups like above?
Athletes who perform banded push-ups, generally face the difficulty in keeping the loop bands in their position on the back of the shoulders.
Often, while doing a push-up with power loop bands or tube resistance bands, the loop bands tend to roll from their original position towards the neck. Such frequent interruptions affect the mind-body connection, which is a must for any exercise routine.
Luckily, there are some alternative methods to resolve the rolling of resistance bands while doing push-ups and simplify it even further.
Here are some of the unique methods of doing the push-ups with resistance bands, which will eradicate the issues you had been facing with banded push-ups for a long time.
B) Crossed resistance banded push-ups-
Here are the detailed steps and instructions to perform banded push-ups by crossing them as under-
a. Here, we first cross the power loop bands in the middle.
b. Now, hold the power loop bands in such a way that both loop ends are between the index finger and thumb of both hands, as in the earlier case.
c. Wrap the resistance bands around the upper back in such a way that the resistance band passes through your armpits instead of the upper shoulders.
The above technique is in contrast to the conventional method, where we wrap the power loop bands around the upper shoulder bypassing armpits.
d. Now press both ends of the resistance band against the floor using both hands. Keep the hands slightly outside the shoulder width.
e. Take off the knees and bring your body to plank position where the spine is straight from the head towards the toes.
f. Tighten the abdominal muscles towards the spine and extend arms while looking slightly forward to keep the neck in a neutral position.
g. Now, bring your body towards the floor without sagging in the middle while inhaling.
h. When the elbow is at a 90° angle, and the chest is almost touching the ground, start moving upward again while exhaling.
i. Extend your arms in the topmost position while keeping elbows bent a bit.
j. Repeat the above steps for 12 to 15 repetitions of one set. Perform 3 to 4 sets of the banded push-ups as per the steps mentioned here.
So how is this method better than conventional parallel resistance banded push-ups?
Here are the two reasons why the above method works superbly
- The crossing of the power loop band at the middle keeps it in place without slipping over the shoulders.
- Further, passing the loop bands from under the armpits prevents the rolling of resistance bands from the declining surface of upper shoulders. It is especially essential when the resistance bands are fully stretched in the topmost position.
💡 IDEA –
If you have already been performing push-ups with resistance bands for some time, many of you must have felt the pain in the hands while holding flat bands or loop resistance bands during push-ups.
Here is a fantastic alternative where you can make use of a simple accessory such as ankle cuffs to resolve the above issue.
Instead of holding both loop ends of the power loop band, we wrap the ankle cuffs on both ends of the power loop band.
Now, we only need to hold ankle cuffs (in place of rubber ends), which are softer and broader than the power loop and tube resistance bands.
The ankle cuffs act similar to the foam handle of a typical tube resistance bands. They can be easily pressed against the floor while doing banded push-ups and evenly disburses the stress from exercise band over the more significant area of hands.
📑 To know more about some more innovative methods of attaching resistance bands to the power loop bands, do visit this article – How do I attach handles to the resistance bands
C) Weighed Resistance Banded Push-ups
Weighted resistance banded push-up is another improvisation over the earlier methods. Here, instead of holding the loop bands in your hands and wrapping around the back, we free up the hands altogether.
This fantastic method prevents the frequent rubbing of the loop bands around your armpits, elbows, and hands. Further, it looks very similar to the push-up variation where plates are placed over the back to make push-ups harder.
That is the reason; this method has been named as Weighted resistance banded push-ups.
Here are the detailed instructions for setting up the power loop bands for doing weighted banded push-ups-
a. Identify two objects which can be placed at a distance of more than shoulder width. These heavy-duty objects should not move from their position when the actual forces of push-up tries to pull them.
💡 IDEA –
In my case, I made use of the two sofa sets in my house. I brought them closer to each other and put the loop ends of the power loop resistance band across the leg of each sofa.
Make sure that the loop bands are tight enough so that there is a consistent tension when you are in the bottommost position of push-ups.
b. Now, move the body from under the power loop bands in such a way that the loop bands are passing over the upper shoulders, just like in previous methods.
c. Bring your body in a plank position with a straight spine and arms extended. Keep the arm slightly outside the shoulders.
d. Lower your body while inhaling, keeping the abdominal muscles and glutes tight.
e. When arms are at 90° angle and chest is near the ground, slowly bring the body upwards until the arms are extended fully.
f. Repeat the above steps for 12 to 15 repetitions for each set. Perform 3 to 4 sets of the above exercise.
By extending the power loop band between the furniture or some stable objects inside the gym, you can also perform several other exercises, in addition to the banded push-ups.
For example, deadlifts and bent over row works exceptionally well with the suggested setup. Here, we do not need to anchor resistance bands under the feet as we usually do while doing a standard deadlift and rowing exercise with power loop bands.
Just imagine the possibilities with zero cost setup (as mentioned above) and create your workout routines to amaze yourself.
Incredible advantages of weighted resistance banded push-ups-
With weighted resistance bands push-ups, you can perform the push-ups similar to the basic push-ups without weights.
Here are some of the reasons the weighted resistance banded push-ups work excellent-
A. Without worrying about the rolling and constant irritation due to the rubbing of resistance bands, you are only focusing on the form and technique.
B. Another advantage of this method of banded push-ups is that you are not restricted to perform only the basic push-up variation.
That means you can bring your hands closer to each other in the plank position and perform diamond push-ups to target tricep muscles. You can also place your hands wider than shoulder-width and focus on deltoid muscles.
C. In case, you are an advanced athlete and loves to do declined push-ups by placing feet over the elevated surface like a bench. Then, rolling of resistance bands is a prominent issue in the banded push-ups.
With weighted resistance push-ups, you do not need to worry about the placement of resistance bands along with their gripping in hands. Just focus on form and do it.
If you are doing exercises inside the gym, then you can make use of push-up bars or barbell rack. If you are in the home, and struggling to find a pair of objects or furniture to anchor the loop ends of the power loop bands.
Then, you can tie the one loop end of the resistance bands to the door anchor and tie the other end of the loop band to the leg of the dining table.
Alternatively, you can also wrap the ends of the resistance band around the dumbbells rods to free up the hands of the resistance bands for added comfort while doing push-ups.
In this manner, the wrist is also relieved from the tension as it is in a neutral position (instead of a 90 deg angle as in earlier case).
Bonus tips for the beginners while doing banded push-ups-
If you are a beginner and want to include resistance bands in push-ups, but core and back muscles are not strong enough. Even then, you can take advantage of banded push-ups by doing them in a standing position.
Just lean against the door while holding the power loop band around the upper back, as instructed in this article. Keep the body straight and aligned in a plank position, and perform push-ups.
Though, you will not get all the advantages of pushing Off the horizontal surface against gravity. However, you can improve the upper body strength of deltoid and pectoral muscles.
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