Push Presses with Resistance Bands

At a Glance

Exercise Muscle

Chest

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Popularized in CrossFit boxes and powerlifting gyms, push presses are an excellent exercise for strengthening motor recruitment patterns because they engage so many upper body muscles to perform correctly. The traditional exercise uses a barbell and requires the athlete to move the barbell from his/her shoulders to full extension above the head, with the help of momentum from the lower body. The legs give the initial burst of energy that drives the bar off the shoulders; the upper body then finishes the lockout.


Simulate the same movement patterns using a resistance band. One difference you’ll notice is that the exercise band offers an ascending resistance, so as you stretch it further it will challenge you with incrementally more resistance. This feature tends to place less stress on joints and give your muscles more tension while they contract and offer more force.

 

  1. With the band underneath the feet, have your elbows slightly pointed down and your spine neutral.

  2. Bring the band up to your chest.

  3. With one powerful motion, starting from the legs and glutes, extend your hips and knees and thrust the band overhead.

  4. Slowly bring the resistance band down to your chest and repeat.

 

Tips:

 

  • If you have a bar, stick, or dowel you can attach your band(s) to it for resistance, holding this bar instead of the bands and pushing it up.

  • Loop the band around the bar to shorten the length of the band and increase the resistance.

  • You can bend your knees a little outwards to gather force to push upwards.

  • Thrusters: This similar movement pattern can also be applied to the traditional CrossFit Thruster as well.

 

Target Muscles: shoulders (deltoids), triceps, legs (quads, glutes, hamstrings).

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