4 Best Resistance Band Pushups for a Powerful Torso

If you want to challenge your pushup ability while building a solid upper body, you can try the resistance band pushups.

Resistance bands are easy-to-use, inexpensive, and effective equipment for physical fitness development.

Some studies even suggest bands provide results similar to free weight exercises and can be a possible alternative to traditional weight training for strength gain.1 Lopes, Jaqueline Santos Silva et al. “Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” SAGE open medicine vol. 7 2050312119831116. 19 Feb. 2019, doi:10.1177/2050312119831116

You can do the four basic pushup variations with resistance bands. These pushups will help you shape your torso and bolster your fundamental strength.

They also help you scale your strength for compound exercises, like bench presses and bar dips.

If you don’t have access to fancy gym equipment, get a pair of bands and try these pushup variations to build strength, muscle, and mobility at home.

The 4 Best Resistance Band Pushups to Forge Your Upper Body

  1. Standard Pushup
  2. Banded Close-Grip Pushup
  3. Incline Banded Pushup
  4. Resisted Decline Standard Pushup

1. Resistance Band Standard Pushup

Pushup with resistance bands

The standard pushup is an ancient and effective exercise for upper-body muscle development. It highly engages the pectoral muscles, increases your pushing strength, and enhances your functional fitness.

About Exercise

Steps to Perform

  1. Grab a strong powerband, wrap it around your back, and hold the ends firmly with your hands.
  2. Get into a high-plank position with your arms straight below your shoulders. That’s the starting position.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the ground as low as possible.
  4. Pressing your palms into the floor, return to the starting position.

2. Close-Grip Banded Pushup

The close-grip pushup dominates the three-headed upper arms and helps build strong and toned triceps. Besides the triceps, it also engages the chest, front shoulders, and abdominal muscles and helps develop a chiseled upper body.

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Triceps, Chest, and Abdominals
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Elastic Loop/Power Band
  • Goal: Strengthen and Tone Muscles

Steps to Perform

  1. Wrap the resistance band around your back and get into a high plank position with your arms straight below your chest.
  2. Slowly lower your chest toward the floor, as close as possible.
  3. Press your hands to the floor until your arms are entirely straight.

3. Resistance Band Incline Pushup

The incline pushup is an easy and effective exercise to activate the serratus anterior, pectoralis major, and triceps brachii.3 Kowalski, Katie L et al. “Shoulder electromyography activity during push-up variations: a scoping review.” Shoulder & elbow vol. 14,3 (2022): 326-340. doi:10.1177/17585732211019373 It also elevates your strength for standard and decline press-ups.

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders
  • Difficulty Level: Easy (Suitable for Beginners)
  • Equipment Needed: Loop Band and an Elevated Object
  • Goal: Bolster Foundational Strength and Build Muscles

Steps to Perform

  1. Stand against a flat bench, wrap the band around your back, and place your hands on the bench with your arms straight below your shoulder.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the bench.
  3. Push up back to return to the standing position.

4. Resisted Decline Standard Pushup

The decline banded pushup engages more muscles than the above exercises. It activates the shoulders, chest, triceps, and midsection, all simultaneously, helps build an aesthetic upper body, and takes your pushing ability to the next level. (3)

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Shoulders, Pecs, Abs, and Triceps
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Chair and Band
  • Goal: Develop Muscular Endurance, Build Muscle, and Improve Balance

Steps to Perform

  1. Keep your feet on a chair, and wrap the band around your back and under your palms.
  2. Get into a decline straight arm plank with your wrist beneath your shoulders.
  3. Brace your core, maintain a neutral spine, and perform as many push-ups as possible.
  4. Hold your breath while going down and pressing up.

Do Resistance Band Pushups Build Muscles?

Yes, doing pushups with resistance bands helps build strength and muscles. The elastic bands provide similar resistance to free weights and machines and can help you shape your body. (1)

What Types of Resistance Band Should You Use for Pushups?

To train sizeable muscles, such as the chest, you need solid resistance bands with 20-60 lbs tension levels. However, it would be great to have a combo of light and heavy bands to perform each pushup efficiently.


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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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