Resistance Band Push Up: Muscles Worked, How To Do, Form

Push-ups can be performed, regardless of where you are and, best of all, they are completely free—no expensive equipment or annual gym fees required. There are different types of push-up variations to meet different needs.

Resistance band push up is one of them. They can be a great way to add variety and challenge to your push-up routine. They can also help you to improve your strength, endurance, and stability.

In this post, we will teach you how to do resistance band push ups with proper form and muscles worked during them. You’ll learn how to progress from standard to advanced push up variations to keep gaining muscle.

What is Resistance Band Push Up

Resistance band push ups are a variation on the standard push up exercise that add extra challenge and resistance.

As the name suggests, they are performed using a resistance band or loop that is placed across the upper back while in the push up position.

Push-ups with band good workout for strengthening the upper body because it works multiple muscle groups. While push-ups primarily target the chest muscles, they also engage several other muscles, including the shoulders, triceps, and core.

They can be modified to make them easier or more challenging. You can use a thicker resistance band to make the exercise harder, or you can put your feet on a bench to make it easier (Decline Push Up).

Research has shown that resistance band push-ups can be just as effective as traditional bench press exercises for building strength and muscle mass.

Resistance Band Push-up
Want to take your gains to the next level? Discover your daily calorie needs with our free TDEE calculator

Muscles Worked During Band Push Up

The Resistance Band Push Up is a compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Resistance bands increase the challenge and engagement of these muscles, especially during the concentric (pushing upward) phase of the movement.

The following primary muscles are targeted during the band push-up.

However, push-ups require many other muscles in the body to work to keep the body in a rigid plank position. These muscles may include:

  • Abdominal or core muscles
  • Glutes
  • Biceps
  • Back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and Trapezius muscles
  • Erector Spinae Muscles
  • Leg muscles, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, calf, and shin muscles.
Muscles Worked During Band Push Up

How To Do Resistance Band Push Up

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Select the Appropriate Band

  • Start with a flat, looped resistance band. The thickness and elasticity of the band will determine the resistance.
  • For beginners, its best to start with lighter resistance bands and move up to heavier ones as you get stronger.

2. Starting Position

  • Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Your feet can be together or slightly apart, based on your comfort.
  • Ensure your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels.

3. Band Placement

  • Hold one end of the resistance band in each hand.
  • Put the band on your upper back and make sure it is straight and not twisted.
  • Secure each end of the band under the palms of your hands on the ground. The band should be taut but not overly stretched when you’re in the plank position.
Resistance Band Push Up

4. Executing the Push-Up

  • Inhale and start to lower your body towards the ground. Keep your elbows at about a 45-degree angle to your body.
  • Once your chest is close to the ground, pause for a moment.
  • Exhale and press through your hands to push yourself back up to the starting plank position.
  • Keep your core tight to keep your hips from sagging or piking up.

5. Reps and Sets

  • Start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps with 30-60 secs rest between sets.
  • If you’re new to this exercise, start with fewer repetitions and increase them as you get better and stronger.
  • Do 2-3 times per week along with other upper body exercises.

Tips and Form

  • If you’re a complete beginner, you can modify the push up by starting on your knees instead of your toes.
  • Make sure to keep your body straight as you lower down and push back up.
  • Before each use, check your resistance band for any signs of wear, tears, or damage.
  • During the descent, keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body.
  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Try to lower your chest close to the ground on each rep to get the most muscle work.
  • Inhale as you lower your body. Exhale as you push yourself up.
  • Engage your core muscles to keep your body straight and stable as you perform the push up.
  • Everyone’s strength and endurance levels are different. Always exercise within your current capacity and avoid overexertion.
  • Store your bands away from direct sunlight, heat, and any sharp objects
To Stay Motivated: 150+ Gym Workout Motivational Quotes To Stay Fit

Best Resistance Band Push Ups Variations

1. Incline Band Push Up

An incline push-up is a variation of the standard push-up where your hands are positioned on an elevated surface, such as a bench, step, or wall.

This modification reduces the amount of body weight you have to lift compared to a regular push-up. It is a bit easier and a good starting point for those working their way up to traditional push-ups.

Incline Band Push Up

How To Do Incline Band Push Up

  • Loop a resistance band around your back, just below your shoulder blades.
  • Place your hands on a raised surface, such as a bench or chair.
  • Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Lower your body until your chest touches the raised surface.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position.

2. Band Wide Grip Push Up

Wide push-ups are a variation of the standard push-up where your hands are positioned wider than shoulder-width apart. The wider grip focuses more on the outer chest and shoulders

If you’ve mastered regular pushups and want to target your muscles a little differently, band wide pushups are a good option.

Band Wide Grip Push Up

How To Do Band Wide Grip Push Up

  • Begin in a plank position, but place your hands wider than usual, beyond shoulder-width apart.
  • Position resistance band around upper back.
  • Secure each end under the palms of your hands.
  • As you inhale, lower your body until your chest touches the ground.
  • Exhale and press through your hands, pushing yourself back to the starting plank position.

3. Band Decline Push Up

The Band Decline push up is a more advanced variation of the standard push-up. In this exercise, the feet are elevated on a platform or surface (like a bench), and a resistance band is used to increase the challenge.

Although this is called the Decline push-up, it focuses more on the upper pecs.

Band Decline Push Up

How to Do Band Decline Push Up

  1. Loop the resistance band around your back, directly against your shoulder blades.
  2. Take a plank position with your feet elevated on a bench, box, or other elevated surface.
  3. Lower your body until your chest touches the ground.
  4. Push yourself back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

4. Close Grip Band Push Up

The close grip push-up is a bodyweight exercise that focuses more inner chest and the triceps because it uses a close hand position.

The close hand positioning shifts a greater portion of the workload to the triceps.

Close hand push-ups are beneficial not only for tricep activation, but for almost the entire upper and lower body as well.

Close Grip Band Push Up

How To Do Close Grip Band Push Up

  1. Place hands closer than shoulder width apart
  2. Position resistance band around upper back
  3. Maintain rigid plank, brace core throughout
  4. Lower chest with control, pause, then push back up
  5. Use full range of motion, elbows at 90 degrees at bottom.
  6. Keep elbows tucked close to sides and wrists neutral.

Benefits Of Band Push-Ups

  • Band Push-ups will improve muscular endurance within the upper body, strengthen both muscles and bones.
  • The constant tension of the band helps you focus on correctly engaging your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Doing push-ups can be a powerful full-body workout and help to burn more calories.
  • Band push-ups offer a number of variations, which can help to add variety and challenge to your workouts.
  • As you’ll be moving your full body around, these drills will improve your metabolism, get you to burn more fat and help you achieve that mean and lean look.
  • Push ups are a cardiovascular exercise that can improve your endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
  • One of the great things about band push ups is that they can be done anywhere, without any equipment. Only you need bands.
  • Resistance bands introduce new stimuli to prevent overuse injuries and training plateaus.


Resistance band push-ups are a simple but effective variation on the standard push-up exercise. The addition of a band provides additional resistance to challenge your muscles. This helps you gain more strength and activate more muscles, which helps you break through training plateaus.

Push-ups with resistance bands offer a variety of benefits, including increased muscle activation, improved upper body strength, improved core stability.

Give this exercise a try – your chest, shoulders and triceps will thank you.


  • Behm D.G., Anderson K., Curnew R.S. (2002) Muscle force and activation under stable and unstable conditions. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 16(3): 416-422.
  • Calatayud J, Borreani S, Colado JC, Martin F, Tella V, Andersen LL. Bench press and push-up at comparable levels of muscle activity results in similar strength gains. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):246-53.
  • Calatayud J., Borreani S., Colado J.C., Martin F., Rogers M.E. (2014) Muscle activity levels in upper-body push exercises with different loads and stability conditions. Physician and Sportsmedicine 42, 106-119.

Leave a Comment