How To Do Push Ups With Bands Using DIY Platform

I have done push ups with bands (I use Bodylastic bands) as a staple exercise for a few years and I recommend them to my clients.  As I explained in this article, push ups have many advantages in comparison to bench presses, particularly in regard to safety, and adding bands results in combined resistance (elastic + weight), which improves the loading through the full range of motion, which might improve strength and hypertrophy outcomes.  

I've tried various methods for setting up the bands over the years.  The best have involved using my CAP power rack as an anchor, but not all of my readers or clients have a rack for this purpose.  I wanted to find a method – preferably a portable method – that I could recommend to people who don't have a similar rack.

I also wanted a method that would ensure that the band tension would be similar from session to session, ensure uniformity of loading and progression; and that would provide added band resistance throughout the full range of motion.  These criteria ruled out the method recommended on the Bodylastics website, shown below.  

Problems Doing Push Ups With Bands

I found two main problems with the method suggested by Bodylastics:

  • Its difficult to ensure that you put your hands on the bands at the same place every time to get full tension at the bottom of the push up and the same amount of tension from session to session using the same band(s).
  • Its difficult to use multiple bands for incremental progression.  For example, if you want to progress from the green band, the next increment would be to use the green and yellow bands together.  Its difficult to get adequate tension at the bottom with one band, let alone two.  

My Push Ups With Bands Solution

One day in 2021 I realized I could solve these problems using the DIY platform that I built originally to anchor bands for squatting exercises.  

In this brief video I demonstrate how I use the platform to load push ups with bands: 

With this method you get band resistance through the full range of motion, the bands  are stretched the same amount every time you set it up, you can easily stack multiple (2-3) bands, you don't need a power rack, and the set up is highly portable and easy to store away.

Push ups with bands are a core exercise for my online coaching clients and this method of setting them up accessible, portable and inexpensive.  

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