Amplify Strength With the Banded Bench Press

Amplify Strength With the Banded Bench Press

Strength training enthusiasts constantly search for methods to push their limits and elevate their performance. In the realm of bench press variations, the banded bench press emerges as a dynamic and effective tool to amplify strength gains. This comprehensive guide aims to unravel the intricacies of the banded bench press, examining its mechanics, benefits, scientific backing, coach perspectives, and practical implementation.

What is a Banded Bench Press?

The bench press, a cornerstone in strength training, forms the foundation for various powerlifting routines. But how can resistance bands enhance this classic exercise? The banded bench press introduces a novel dimension by incorporating resistance bands, creating a challenging yet rewarding experience.

The banded bench press attaches resistance bands to the barbell at its core. This modification introduces variable resistance, demanding increased effort at different points in the lift. This dynamic approach enhances engagement, uniquely targeting muscles.

What Muscles Does Banded Bench Press Work On?

Understanding the muscle anatomy of the banded bench press is fundamental to optimizing its benefits. This dynamic exercise strategically targets specific muscle groups, contributing to a holistic strength-building experience. Let's delve into the intricacies of the targeted muscles and uncover how the banded bench press can sculpt a robust and well-defined physique. The banded bench press primarily targets:

  • Pectoralis Major: It is engaged during both the concentric and eccentric phases.
  • Triceps Brachii: This muscle is activated during the lockout phase.
  • Deltoids and Upper Back Muscles: Actively stabilizing the bar during descent.

Mechanics and Benefits of Banded Bench Press

Bench Press

Understanding the Strength Curve

The banded bench press revolutionizes traditional lifting by addressing the "strength curve." This curve illustrates the varying force requirements throughout a lift, and resistance bands add ascending resistance, demanding constant force exertion. This dynamic aligns with the strength curve, preventing the tendency to ease up during specific phases.

Benefits of Addressing the Strength Curve

Bands in the banded bench press offer diverse benefits. They challenge lifters to exert constant force, smoothing out sticking points and enhancing overall control. The method maximizes force exertion, particularly during the lockout phase, fostering a robust approach to the bench press and ensuring immediate gains and long-term progress.

Finely tuned to the strength curve, the banded bench press emerges as a nuanced technique fostering constant force exertion. Beyond immediate gains, it becomes a valuable tool for sustainable progress, elevating bench press performance.

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Three Reasons to Embrace the Banded Bench Press Technique

Increase Force Production

Incorporating resistance bands in the bench press is a dynamic tool to propel force production to new heights. The bands introduce an element of external resistance, compelling lifters to push against an augmented force throughout the entire range of motion. This heightened challenge, especially during the lockout phase, necessitates a continuous and forceful drive, fostering a more robust and efficient force production mechanism. For those seeking to maximize their bench press potential, this method becomes a strategic ally in cultivating the ability to exert consistent force, leading to overall strength gains. Explore Resistance Bands for Bench Press.

Break Through Sticking Points

Sticking points, often a bottleneck in bench press progress, can be effectively addressed by strategically integrating resistance bands. By overloading the top range of motion with increased resistance, bands emphasize the triceps—a key muscle group responsible for lockout. This targeted approach aids in strengthening the triceps, addressing weaknesses that may contribute to plateaus in performance. 

As a valuable ally in conquering sticking points, the banded bench press is a versatile and effective technique for lifters aiming to elevate their bench press prowess. Discover Mini Bands for Targeted Strength.

Practice Eccentric Control

Often overlooked, the eccentric phase of the bench press plays a pivotal role in overall strength development. Resistance bands, actively resisting the descent of the barbell, create an environment demanding heightened eccentric control. As the bands pull the bar downward, lifters must exert deliberate control, preventing rapid descent. This controlled abnormal movement enhances the engagement of stabilizing muscle groups, and fosters improved pec activation.

 For those seeking to refine their eccentric control, a banded bench press emerges as a valuable ally, providing a focused and challenging environment for controlled descent. Explore Resistance Bands with Handles for Versatile Training.

Implementing Banded Bench Press

Setting Up Banded Bench Press

Without a specialized rig, setting up bands involves:

  • Looping them over one end of the barbell.
  • Pulling them underneath the bench.
  • Wrapping them over the opposite end.
  • Securing them inside the collar sleeve.

Optimal band thickness (0.5 to 1 inch) balances challenge and manageability.

User Levels and Recommendations

Banded bench press is best suited for intermediate and advanced lifters with at least two years of experience. Beginners are advised to maximize gains through conventional benching before incorporating external tools.

How to Perform Banded Bench Press


  • Maintain a firm grip on the barbell.
  • Descend with control, feeling the increased resistance.
  • Drive upward, focusing on a consistent force throughout.

Progressing with Banded Bench Press for Every Level

For Beginners

Start by mastering the conventional bench press, then introduce light-tension bands gradually. Focus on form and technique, adapting to the increased challenge.


Intermediate lifters use medium-tension bands to refine force production and eccentric control. Address specific weaknesses and intensify your routine for nuanced strength.


Advanced lifters experiment with high-tension bands for peak performance. Fine-tune force production, tackle sticking points and optimize your banded bench press for continuous improvement.

Scientific Evidence and Coach Perspectives

Research Backing Banded Bench Press

Studies, such as Garcia-Lopez et al. (2016) and Bellar et al. (2011), affirm the efficacy of banded bench presses. Increased barbell acceleration and maximal power are notable outcomes, indicating its positive impact on strength development. Garcia-Lopez et al. (2016) showcased a 17% enhancement in barbell acceleration, emphasizing the prolonged capacity to drive through the entire range of motion. In a 13-week study by Bellar et al. (2011), participants using banded bench press exhibited a 5.23 lbs greater increase in 1 rep max strength compared to those who didn't use bands. These findings substantiate the positive impact of banded bench press on overall strength development.

Scientific evidence strongly supports the efficacy of the banded bench press, affirming its ability to enhance barbell acceleration and maximize power output, crucial elements in achieving substantial strength gains.

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Coach Insights

Top coaches, including Mike Tuchscherer and Arian Khameshi, provide nuanced perspectives. Tuchscherer emphasizes overloading the lockout and maintaining a specific bar path, while Khameshi, considering beginners and access limitations, opts for alternatives to build tricep strength.

Mike Tuchscherer's Approach

Renowned as the owner of Reactive Training Systems and the coach of several World Champion Powerlifters, Mike Tuchscherer brings a seasoned perspective to the discussion. Tuchscherer advocates for the primary benefit of using bands in the bench press—overloading the lockout. His emphasis lies not only on the sheer resistance introduced by the bands but also on maintaining a specific bar path throughout the lift. This strategic approach aligns with Tuchscherer's philosophy of training the banded bench press with heavier protocols, typically in the 1 to 5 rep range. His insights delve into the intricacies of utilizing a banded bench press to target the triceps and enhance overall performance precisely.

Arian Khameshi's Considerations

Heading the coaching realm for USA Powerlifting, Arian Khameshi counters Tuchscherer's perspective, focusing on practicality and accessibility. Khameshi acknowledges that not all athletes can access bands and the necessary setups to execute banded bench presses. Considering the predominantly raw lifters among his athletes, Khameshi raises a crucial point about the specific benefits of bands—particularly in strengthening the lockout, a concern less pertinent for his athletes. His stance is grounded in beginners' realities and the potential complexities introduced by a tool like banded bench press. For Khameshi, alternatives to building tricep strength without relying on additional equipment become a more feasible and inclusive approach for a broader range of athletes.

Some FAQ's Addressed

Q: How much harder is banded bench press?

A: Due to the introduction of variable resistance, the banded bench press is generally considered more challenging than the traditional bench press. The resistance bands add tension throughout the lift, demanding increased effort at different points in the movement. This increased difficulty enhances muscle engagement and force exertion, particularly during lockout.

Q: Why do powerlifters use bands?

A: Powerlifters use bands in their training to address specific aspects of strength development. The variable resistance bands introduced help powerlifters improve force production, break through sticking points, and refine control throughout the entire range of motion. Utilizing variable resistance is particularly beneficial for enhancing performance in competition lifts, such as the bench press.

Q: What is the purpose of the banded bench press?

A: The banded bench press serves several purposes, including:

  • Variable Resistance: Resistance bands introduce variable resistance, challenging lifters to exert constant force throughout the lift.
  • Strength Curve Optimization: The banded bench press aims to provide a more comprehensive and challenging workout by addressing the strength curve, preventing ease-up during specific lift phases.
  • Targeted Muscle Engagement: The banded bench press uniquely and effectively targets specific muscle groups, including the pectoralis major, triceps brachii, and deltoids.

Q: What are the results of banded bench press?

A: The results of the banded bench press can include:

  • Increased Force Production: Incorporating resistance bands challenges lifters to push against augmented force, leading to improved force production, especially during the lockout phase.
  • Breaking Sticking Points: Addressing sticking points, often a challenge in traditional bench press, is a crucial benefit. The targeted overload on the triceps during the lockout phase can help overcome plateaus in performance.
  • Enhanced Eccentric Control: The controlled descent enforced by the resistance bands enhances eccentric control, engaging stabilizing muscle groups and fostering improved pec activation.

Q: Bench Pressing With Bands, Is It Worth It?

A: Bench pressing with bands can be worthwhile for enhancing their strength training. Variational resistance challenges lifters throughout different lift phases, making it beneficial for breaking plateaus and optimizing force production. 

The method aligns with the strength curve, fostering constant force exertion and potentially leading to overall strength gains, especially in the lockout phase. The banded bench press provides a comprehensive workout by targeting specific muscle groups such as the pectoralis major, triceps brachii, and deltoids. Coaches like Mike Tuchscherer emphasize the benefits of overloading the lockout, but individuals should consider their personal preferences and practicality when incorporating bands into their routines.

 Ultimately, the worthiness of bench pressing with bands depends on individual fitness goals and how well this method aligns with their overall training objectives.


The banded bench press transforms a classic exercise, offering a multifaceted approach to strength development. From enhancing force production to addressing sticking points, its benefits are substantiated by both research and coach insights.

Aspiring to elevate your strength game? Consider integrating a banded bench press into your training regimen. The nuances of this method, coupled with its scientific validation, position it as a valuable tool for those seeking continuous progress in their strength training journey.

This comprehensive guide serves as a roadmap, navigating enthusiasts through the principles, execution, and benefits of banded bench press. Embrace the challenge, push your limits, and witness the transformative impact on your strength gains.

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Explore Diverse Training Tools

For an extensive and diverse range of training tools, including Resistance Bands, Mini Bands, Resistance Bands with Handles, and EQualizer Resistance Bars, visit Living.Fit. Elevate your training experience with premium-quality equipment designed for pull-up assistance, powerlifting, warm-up, and stretching and tailored for both men and women. Unleash the potential of your workouts with tools specifically crafted to enhance strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Discover the EQualizer Resistance Bars Bundle.

To get started with resistance bands, consider exploring the range available at Living.Fit, including options like Resistance Bands For pull-up assistance, Powerlifting, Warm Up and stretching, and Made for Men and women.

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