10 Attached Band Pushing Exercises that are Better than Free Weights

Posted · 3 Comments
Attached Band Pushing

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

  1. Automatically activates abdominals as stabilizers due to a horizontal vector being applied
  1. Automatically activates scapular stabilizers as a result of hips and abs being simultaneously activated
  1. Simulates a closed chain exercise which applies less stabilization demand onto the rotator cuff muscles and tendons
  1. Generates less pressure on low back due to abs being activated and less low back extension which is often seen with bench pressing
  1. Allows individuals to coordinate the lower body into the pushing movement by adding in a squat or lunge
  1. Positions the body to push while standing which takes advantage of the body’s natural pushing response
  1. Allows individuals to incorporate rotational and lateral planes of movement with pushing which eliminates overuse injuries
  1. 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

  1. Staggered Push
  2. Single Arm Push  & Single Arm Rotational Push
  3. Parallel Core Dominate Push
  4. Alternate Pushing Options
  5. Incline Push
  6. Split Squat Push
  7. Step and Push
  8. Kneeling Hip Extension Push
  9. Hip Loaded Push
  10. Pillar Push Variations


Meet Dave

Dave Schmitz, PT, CSCS, PES has been writing, teaching and training how to implement resistance band training for rehabilitation, general conditioning, and performance since 1996. He is the founder & co-owner of Resistance Band Training— the leading band provider worldwide.

Along with being a co-author of the Amazon best seller, Total Body Breakthroughs, Dave is also the author and producer of numerous fitness & nutrition articles, E-books, DVDs. His passion is focused on trainers, clients, and athletes improve their body’s ability to handle momentum, gravity and ground reaction forces using elastic resistance. Dave also consults online with several high schools, universities, private performance training business and is also on the board of experts for the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA).

3 Responses to "10 Attached Band Pushing Exercises that are Better than Free Weights"
  1. Mark Mattingly says:

    I am going to add these.

  2. Andy Prado says:

    Hi Dave, right now I’m working with the pulling and plain exercises you mentioned to me over the phone because of my rotator cuff problems, but I really like the pushing exercises that you demonstrated as your favorite 10 pushing exercises. Do you think it would be good for me to incorporate these into my workout with my shoulder problem? I noticed you use what appears to be two black bands one for each arm. Would it be wise. to use much less tension bands for me?

  3. RBT-Site-Admin says:

    Ease into it for sure. Use light resistance and limit the number of reps at first. Some of these exercises might strengthen that area of your shoulder but some will strengthen it. Use your judgement and don’t over strain that area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Pin It on Pinterest