Adding weight to push ups can be a difficult task but I've come up with something new for you. This will actually change everything for you.
I was quickly able to work up to adding 100 extra pounds to push ups. And it wasn't difficult at all. The hardest part is fastening all the weight plates to my hip belt.
Did you know push ups are a far superior exercise to the bench press? Any weight lifting exercise that allows you to move your body through space versus moving the weight through space while your body is stationary is far superior!
Push ups meet that condition. You are moving your body through space. With the bench press, your body is stationary while you move the weight through space.
Some other examples of moving your body through space are 1) squats, 2) deadlifts, 3) inverted rows, 4) pulls ups, 5) handstand push ups, and 6) dips. Did you notice that most of those are the 7 core weight lifting exercises here at Weight Lifting Complete? The 7 core weight lifting exercises form the basis of every weight lifting program at WLC.
I've always recommended bench press over push ups because I could never find a safe way to add weight to push ups. I had tried so many different things, but I never give up brainstorming. I finally thought of something that works well AND this changes everything for both you and for me.
I've already seen great results from this.
You'll Need a Hip Belt, Weight Plates, Weight Bench, and Power Rack
If you have access to a hip belt, weight plates, and adjustable bench, and a power rack you can easily use this method of adding weight to push ups.
This is very simple so I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure this out. It just hit me one day like most ideas do. They just pop in your head. Light bulb.
Place a barbell in your power rack slightly above the level of your weight bench. You'll learn this later but you might need to raise it along with the level of the weight bench so the weight plates don't hit the floor at the bottom of the push up movement.
Next move the weight bench so you feet will be placed on the bench with space between the bench and barbell so the weight plates have room to go between.
Practice a couple of body weight push ups with your feet on the bench and your hands on the barbell.
Once you have the spacing correct, you can start adding weight to the hip belt BUT please make sure you're strong enough to do so first. Always start out with a 5 pound plate and slowly increase the weight over the weeks until you're pushing yourself. Continue with the normal plan of progression for your workouts.
I personally use standard weight plates because they are usually smaller and more compact than olympic weight plates. This is important when using this method because you don't want the plates hitting the ground as they hang down from the hip belt.
You can also use dumbbells and hang them from the hip belt.
If you need to adjust the bench to a higher level so the weight doesn't hit the ground then do so. You can also raise the level of the barbell. Also, make sure the barbell is very secure as you don't want to have a serious weight lifting accident. You could fall on your face if the barbell isn't secure. This would be very bad.
You also want to make sure your feet are secure on the bench. I like to keep the bench and barbell as low as possible without the weight plates hitting the floor. This is for safety reasons only.
Here's Several Methods I don't Recommend for Heavy Weights
Adding weight to push ups using a back pack doesn't work very well when the weight begins to get heavy. It can work for a while but I quickly outgrew the back pack I used PLUS the weight ripped the backpack to pieces. This can get expensive as some back packs cost a good deal of money. Threads aren't accustomed to holding so much weight.
Again, you need a better way of adding weight to push ups. The weight you'll require will get heavier and heavier. The method I've given you above of using a hip belt and suspending yourself a few feet above the ground using a power rack, barbell, and a weight bench is FAR SUPERIOR.
This method is far superior because you can add a couple hundred pounds easily. This should be plenty of weight for you to progress through for some time. I quickly made it to 100 extra pounds after just a couple of weeks so I'll continue adding weight over the next few weeks.
You could also use a weight vest for weighted push ups but again, you won't be able to add much weight and they are expensive. You won't be able to add weight for very long.
You can also have someone add weight plates to your back BUT this is not very safe and is difficult. If someone isn't there to help, you can't use this method. Plus, weight plates may go flying around.
You can also have someone sit on your back BUT how do you slowly increase to this amount of weight and how do you slowly increase the weight? This method would be very difficult to plan for your workouts. Plus, you would have to find someone to help you.
You can also use chains to add weight but the negative gets easier. You can also use resistance bands and wrap them around your body but they also get easier on the negative and just don't work that well. I actually can't stand using resistance bands with push ups.
You could use chains with the method of suspending yourself, though. That would actually work well. See this video:
So I do recommend the method above but it sure takes a lot of equipment there and see how the chains hit the floor at the bottom of the rep?
Found a Video of Someone Adding Weight to Push Ups Using This Method
So it took me a while to find an exercise video using the recommended method that popped in my head a couple of months ago. I've been using this method since then. Finally, I found one:
Now the guy in the video needs to push the weight bench back a foot or so since he's too close to the barbell. You can also turn the bench around so the more stable part of the bench is where your feet will be.
His feet could easily slip off the edge of that bench. I turn my longways so my feet have extra room in case they slip.
If you decide to use this method of adding weight to push ups please make sure you start out with just your body weight. Slowly add weight over the weeks of your workouts. Make sure to warm up properly as well.