Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Tips for Using Resistance Bands to Enhance Push-Ups

Despite their seemingly straightforward nature, push-ups can be a daunting exercise that demands overall strength, from stabilizing your legs to engaging your core and having endurance in your upper body.

A 2019 study in JAMA Network Open suggested that the ability to perform push-ups could be correlated with longevity and improved cardiovascular health. Men in active middle age who could do over 40 push-ups showed a significantly lower risk of heart disease over a decade compared to those who could only manage 10 push-ups during the initial test.

Although this study focused on men, it’s important to remember that the ability to do push-ups might not be the sole factor influencing heart health. Nonetheless, push-ups offer various benefits such as enhancing muscle and bone strength and boosting heart health, so incorporating them into your workout routine is worthwhile.

Transitioning from no experience with push-ups to smoothly doing 40 might be a challenge for most people. To embark on your push-up journey with assistance, consider using a looped mini band or a resistance band to try this method for making push-ups more manageable yet effective.

Enhancing Push-Ups with a Resistance Band

Lindsay Ogden, a certified personal trainer and master trainer at Life Time in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is adept at helping individuals of all fitness levels adjust movements like push-ups to be achievable while still delivering a workout.

Here are the steps to master this modified push-up technique:

  1. Commence in a tabletop stance with a mini band of your chosen resistance encircling your arms above your elbows, ensuring your hands align under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Move your feet back and extend your legs to balance on your hands and toes, maintaining a straight line from head to heels with hands directly under shoulders.
  3. With elbows bent at a 45-degree angle to your body, lower yourself to the ground while utilizing the mini band’s central portion for support around your diaphragm area to prevent your chest from sagging.
  4. Push into your palms and propel yourself back up to a high plank, leveraging the band’s resistance as support for your arms, aiding in the upward movement while upholding proper form.
  5. Repeat the process.

“Push-ups can feel intimidating, no doubt. This is why learning how to modify a standard push-up is beneficial. Empower yourself by building strength through modification and developing confidence in executing the push-up correctly, with or without a mini band.” —Lindsay Ogden, CPT

Advantages of Using a Mini Band for Modified Push-Ups

Initially, push-ups may seem out of reach, especially if upper-body strength is not your strong suit. Modified push-ups provide a solid starting point for progressing to unassisted push-ups, aiding in injury prevention and grasping the fundamentals of proper push-up form.

Let’s delve into the benefits of incorporating a mini band in your push-up routine.

1. Aiding the Toughest Phase of the Push-Up

This mini-band hack provides support where it’s most needed: at the lower end of a push-up when your body is closest to the ground.

Explaining this, Ogden states, “Ideally, full range of motion in push-ups involves your chest touching the floor. However, moving out of this position, with your chest close to the ground, poses the toughest challenge. The mini band, being most taut or stretched at the bottom of the push-up, assists in propelling you back up, making the effort less strenuous on your upper body and core.”

2. Encouraging Correct Push-Up Form

Many individuals attempting push-ups find their backs arching or sinking towards the ground, elbows flaring out, or hands positioned excessively wide for an efficient push-up. While occasional push-ups with imperfect form may not pose a risk, doing them habitually could result in injuries or prolonged discomfort.

Using a mini band helps reinforce proper push-up form, ensuring optimal execution. Whether you’re seasoned in push-ups, it’s advisable to revisit this technique periodically.

“I frequently witness the error of elbows flaring outwards, away from the body, during push-ups where they should ideally maintain a 45-degree angle towards the ground,” Ogden observes. “The mini band aids in keeping elbows close to the body and provides a bracing support for your arms during the push-up action. This effectively targets the triceps, a crucial muscle for strengthening as you progress towards unassisted push-ups.”

3. Boosting Push-Up Confidence

Anxiety over injury or judgment from others might hinder progress in push-ups, but the mini band push-up technique can enhance confidence in managing this challenging exercise.

Acknowledging this, Ogden states, “Push-ups can be daunting, no doubt. It’s advantageous to understand how to modify a standard push-up. This imparts a sense of empowerment in building strength through adaptations and cultivates confidence in executing the push-up movement accurately, with or without a mini band.”

Choosing the Appropriate Resistance Level for a Mini Band

Mini bands and resistance bands are available in various resistance levels, often denoted by color codes by different brands based on their stretch difficulty.

While opting for the hardest resistance level straightaway to intensify your push-up workout may sound appealing, exercising caution is essential. Using a band that’s either too easy or too challenging can lead to improper form, ineffective push-ups, and even injuries.

The thickness of the band correlates with the resistance offered, providing more support during a push-up as highlighted by Ogden. However, a thicker band could pose challenges in maintaining correct arm positioning flush against your body while performing the push-up.

“In case you struggle to stretch the band enough to place it on your biceps without it rolling up your arms or pulling them unnaturally inward, the band may be too tight for you,” Ogden advises.

On the flip side, if the band feels loose or fails to offer sufficient resistance, the push-up trick may not be maximized since the mini band won’t effectively assist in lifting you back up or maintaining proper arm positioning during the upward motion from the ground, as Ogden mentions.

Beginning with a band that’s easy to apply and keep on your biceps, with arms shoulder-width apart in a plank position, offering just enough assistance to counterbalance the challenge of pressing off the floor sets a good starting point for determining the suitable resistance level for your needs.

Progressing to a Standard Push-Up

Prior to attempting the mini band push-up technique, Ogden advocates initiating clients’ push-up journeys with incline push-ups, where the front of the body is elevated to reduce the distance required to descend.

“I prefer using equipment like a Smith machine or an adjustable barbell for clients learning push-ups,” Ogden mentions. “This minimizes strain on their shoulders and wrists, while also reducing the descent distance and ascent effort, all the while focusing on the fundamental plank form suitable for a push-up.”

As the barbell’s height or elevated surface becomes too easy, shifting to lower-elevated options denotes progression. Ogden encourages clients to perform at least three unassisted push-ups before incorporating bands or other modifications to ensure they comprehend which muscles to engage during the motion and how to sustain proper push-up posture.

“Upon accomplishing three unassisted push-ups, I consider introducing resistance bands,” Ogden suggests. “Additional modifications like eccentric push-ups can also be integrated, wherein you gradually lower towards the ground over a few seconds then push back forcefully while retaining proper push-up form.”

Expressing her reservations on knee-assisted push-ups, unless unique conditions dictate otherwise, Ogden notes that such modifications compromise body weight engagement in push-ups, hindering the learning of ideal push-up form.

Consulting a certified personal trainer or coach can provide insights into the appropriate modifications and progressions for your individual requirements.

The Top Mini Bands for Elevating Your Push-Up Game

An endless array of mini bands are available in the market, with some budget options on platforms like Amazon. Nonetheless, opting for reputable brands is generally advisable.

Low-cost mini bands may be constructed from substandard materials, risking premature wear and inaccurate resistance levels or potential breakage under pressure.

Ogden recommends investing in mini band sets from renowned brands. Brands like TRX, Rogue, and SPRI are recommended due to their extensive positive reviews and widespread usage in commercial gyms nationwide, ensuring durability through consistent use.

You May Also Like


Swimming is a revitalizing workout for those who have a fondness for water. Individuals who are fearful of water or lack swimming skills are...


As an individual embarking on a weight loss journey, one of the most challenging aspects has been maintaining a diet below 1200 calories without...


Are you stocking up your pantry with weight loss foods? These are the foods advertised as aiding weight loss on television. Have you ever...


Throughout my entire existence, I have never utilized Coconut Oil for culinary purposes. All I was familiar with was Parachute Coconut Oil, which my...