Bench presses with elastic band result in 32 percent more strength
Strength athletes can increase the strength they build from performing the bench press by more than thirty percent if they partially replace the weight they would normally hang on the bench press bar with an elastic band.
Researchers from Kent State University in Ohio, USA got 11 students to bench press for 3 weeks on 2 occasions. This implied that the students did 5 sets of bench presses twice a week. The students were untrained. So their muscle strength increased by leaps and bounds.
On one occasion, the students bench-pressed [STAND] in the regular way. They used a bar with weights attached. The total weight was 85 percent of the weight at which just 1 rep was possible.
On the other occasion, the students used a slightly lighter weight [BAND]. Because they had elastic bands attached to the barbell, the total load in the BAND sessions was the same as in the STAND sessions. The researchers had replaced 15 percent of the load by attaching an elastic band to the barbell.
Bench presses with an elastic band [BAND] increased the 1RM - the weight at which just 1 rep was possible - by 32 percent more than the bench press without an elastic band [STAND].
"This information supports the potential benefits of the inclusion of combined elastic and free-weight resistance training in exercise programing that contains the benchpress exercise to maximize strength gains", write the researchers.
"It would appear that the modification of bench press to include elastic tension is an effective form of training for both athletes and untrained lifters."
J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Feb;25(2):459-63.
The optimal incline bench press | An EMG study 23.10.2020
Which one is better? Bench press with a cambered bar or bench press with a standard bar? 05.10.2020
Unstable weights | Bench press, only better 23.09.2020
How to make the bench press more effective 16.08.2019