Bench Press with Powerlifting Bands
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ImageSubmitted by: Justin Leonard
Last updated: 1/24/2014

Heavy duty resistance bands (also referred to as "Powerlifting Bands") are an excellent way to build strength. The bands work via a technique known as accommodating resistance. The concept involves creating maximal tension throughout a full range of motion.

Typically, a person is stronger at a certain point of a lift than they are at others (e.g. half squat vs full squat). To overcome the differentiation in resistance, rubber bands are used to accommodate changes in strength at different phases of the movement. Ultimately, your muscles will have to work harder because of the bands.

How to Setup Heavy Duty Resistance Bands (PDF)

Here is what you can expect to feel when using powerlifting bands for the bench press exercise:

  • Exercise may feel awkward at first due to the change in directional forces
  • A progressive weight increase as the bands are stretched
  • A tendency for the bands to lock you into a groove (like a Smith machine)

The following are instructions for performing the bench press with powerlifting bands:

First, anchor the bands in place. Heavy dumbbells work great for securing bands. Once the bands are setup, lie down on a flat bench and disengage the bar from the rack. Slowly lower the bar to the middle/lower portion of your chest. Pause for a second, then push the bar up, just short of locking the elbows. Exhale as you push the weight up. Repeat the exercise as needed.

Step 1
Secure bands to dumbbells.
Step 2
Carefully disengage bar from rack.
Step 3
Slowly lower bar to chest. Pause briefly.
Step 4
Press bar up to starting point. Exhale as you press.
Exercise Details
Chest Exercises ( view all )
Difficulty Level MEDIUM
The bench press with powerlifting bands is a medium difficulty exercise.
Target Muscle
Chest (pectoralis)
Related Equipment
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