The Band-Resisted Push Up: My Favorite Way to Make the Push Up Harder

Hi, there Smile  How ya’ all doin’ today? Just like last week, this week is just flying by for me!

Yesterday morning before doing some work for KIND, I headed into the gym to get a workout in. I had just done a total body lifting workout the day before, so my plan was to spend about 25 minutes doing some sort of metabolic workout. You know, some KB swings, push ups, battle ropes, burpees, and the like.

Unfortunately, I tooled around a bit too long at home, and when I got to the gym, the space I needed to use was occupied by a group fitness class…that had just started. Instead, I begrudgingly took my workout to the treadmill, and proceeded to run for about 25 minutes total, doing these intervals:

-sprint for 30 seconds @ 9.1 mph

-walk for 60 seconds @ 3.7 mph

Then I called it done, and took Niko for her daily walk.

It’s unfortunate workout plans have to change at the last minute, but it’s not the end of the world. No matter where you are, there’s always something else that could be done in place of the planned workout.

One of my favorite examples of this is the push up. Yesterday I posted on Instagram my favorite way to make the push up harder, and I thought I’d share it here, too, with a little more explanation. Let’s say  you’ve mastered the push up, and can complete upwards of 15 reps for 3 sets with good form. Should one simply move on to a bench press from here? Sure, but I think one should also keep the push up in his or her routine. Just add more load! My favorite way to do that is with a simple tool that’s in nearly every single gym across the country.


You might not have chains at your gym to help you out here, but you probably have a thick resistance band. To do a band-resisted push up, you place the band across your back, under your arm pits, and place the band under each hand. From there, go into your push up. You’ll notice that, especially at the top of the motion when the resistance is at its highest, you’ll fatigue much more quickly than if you were doing regular push ups.


I also made a little video of them:

Fun stuff Smile

I might do these in between a few sets of front squats, or alternating with chin ups.

What do you tend to do when workouts don’t go as planned?

It’s the worst when I’m planning on doing a primarily oly bar-focused workout, and all of the squat racks are taken. But, there are always ways to change up the deadlift/squat/etc.

[before you go, make sure to check out the BAMR Bands giveaway I’m holding on my Instagram account! Just “like” to enter, and I’ll pick a winner on Friday Open-mouthed smile]

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  1. I always worry a little when I’m going in to the gym to do weights about whether or not someone will be on the machine I need, and that’s the only thing they’re using for their whole workout (like a cable/pulley thing). The workout my friend helped me come up with goes from thing to thing throughout, so I might skip and come back to something if I can’t get what I need and just hope that I can get it eventually. I don’t know enough to choose other options for myself (other than a few he gave me already) so I just tend to skip or wait I guess would be my answer.
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  3. I’ll have to try this! I usually do decline pushups or use a medicine ball/bosu, but these look like a fabulous option as well.
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  4. I do well to do them on my toes… come be my live in personal trainer?? ;)
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  5. I definitely want to work on my upper body, so this is perfect!! Great idea!
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  6. Great idea! I will definitely try using a resistance band the next time I do push ups at the gym!
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  7. ohh what a great idea! admittedly, i don’t want to make my push ups harder.. but i really should!

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