Archive for August, 2014

Resistance Band pushups as good as bench press

On a recent post I mentioned my lifeline power pushup that I intend to use to build up to equal a 400lb bench – which I used to perform at the gym on a machine.

Well now there is some scientific research to backup resistance pushups.
According to sports scientists at the University of Valencia in Spain you can work on your chest muscles without doing bench presses. If you use an elastic band, push-ups are just as effective as bench presses.

Weighted push-ups
The Spanish experimented with students, all of whom had experience with strength training. The researchers got 10 of them to do bench presses twice a week for five weeks, while 10 others did push-ups.

Of course you can train harder by doing bench presses than push-ups. The researchers got round this by making the push-ups heavier for the students by using a resistance band. This meant that the subjects in the push-up group did just as heavy sets, and the same number of reps, as the students in the bench-press group.

Increase in strength
Before and after the training period the researchers measured the amount of weight with which the students could just manage 1 and 6 reps – their 1RM and 6RM. The strength parameters increased in both training groups. The training effect in both groups was also statistically significant.

“The push-up exercise with added elastic resistance provide a feasible and cost-effective option that may be performed anywhere and may be used as an alternative to traditional bench press exercise in order to provide a high intensity stimulus in the prime movers involved in the action and produce maximal strength adaptations”, the researchers write.

“Physical therapists and strength and conditioning specialists may use this information to select or include one of the both exercises performed during a resistance training program.”

J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print].

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