Attached Band Pushing Exercises
Ask any fitness enthusiast or athlete what the best pushing movement is for building strength or muscle and they will most likely say bench pressing or push ups.
Even though it’s well documented that bench pressing and push ups will improve strength, they are not the only way or the best way to train pushing from a fitness longevity standpoint.
For years I benched pressed heavy and often, only to one day traumatically tear my rotator cuff, bicep tendon and labrum (shoulder cartilage). This resulted in surgery that fortunately did not end my career as a fitness professional, physical therapist or fitness enthusiast.
Mine is not an uncommon story. Most people (especially guys) that bench press weekly for years, eventually incur some level of shoulder pain or injury. Most of these injuries involve the rotator cuff tendons being irritated or torn which often leads to surgery or having to modify push training.
Even though bench pressing is a proven exercise, as a 40+ guy, it’s not your only option and it’s definitely not worth the long term effects it places on the shoulder structures.
What Other Pushing Options Are There???
Attached Band Pushing is a viable option that will build strength and muscle definition without predisposing the rotator cuff to long term trauma and injury. Plus, by using a standing position, attached band pushing provides the additional benefits that cannot be achieved just by bench pressing or incorporating other types of machine-based or free weight strength training.
Benefits of Attached Band Pushing Versus Free Weight Only Pushing
- Automatically activates abdominals as stabilizers due to a horizontal vector being applied
- Automatically activates scapular stabilizers as a result of hips and abs being simultaneously activated
- Simulates a closed chain exercise which applies less stabilization demand onto the rotator cuff muscles and tendons
- Generates less pressure on low back due to abs being activated and less low back extension which is often seen with bench pressing
- Allows individuals to coordinate the lower body into the pushing movement by adding in a squat or lunge
- Positions the body to push while standing which takes advantage of the body’s natural pushing response
- Allows individuals to incorporate rotational and lateral planes of movement with pushing which eliminates overuse injuries
- Increases muscle recruitment due to a higher level of core activation
All of these benefits allow you to strengthen and mobilize the body in ways that will make it stronger, more powerful and more coordinated with daily activities while decreasing post workout joint pain and stiffness.
Dave’s Top 10 Attached Band Pushing Exercises
- Staggered Push
- Single Arm Push & Single Arm Rotational Push
- Parallel Core Dominate Push
- Alternate Pushing Options
- Incline Push
- Split Squat Push
- Step and Push
- Kneeling Hip Extension Push
- Hip Loaded Push
- Pillar Push Variations