How To Do Weighted Push Ups? [Definitive Guide 2023]

8 Methods To Do Weighted Push Ups

Push-ups are a versatile and effective exercise that builds upper body strength and targets multiple muscle groups. While standard push-ups offer great benefits, incorporating additional weight can take your training to the next level.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods to add weight to your push-ups, including dip belts, weight plates, loaded backpacks, weighted vests, a training partner, chains, bands, and even one-arm push-ups.

Additionally, we'll discuss the advantages of weighted push-ups over regular push-ups and address frequently asked questions about this topic. So, let's dive in and discover how to supercharge your push-up routine!

1. Dip Belts

Dip belts are a versatile and convenient tool for adding weight to push-ups. They consist of a waist belt with a chain or strap attached to it. Here's how to use a dip belt effectively:

1. Securely fasten the dip belt around your waist, ensuring it fits snugly.

2. Attach weight plates to the chain or strap using carabiners or hooks.

3. Start with a conservative amount of weight and gradually increase it as you get stronger.

4. Assume a proper push-up position with the added weight hanging between your legs.

5. Perform push-ups with controlled form, maintaining stability throughout the movement.

2. Weight Plates

Weight plates offer a straightforward method for increasing resistance during push-ups. Follow these steps to incorporate weight plates into your routine:

1. Place weight plates on your back, either by securing them with a backpack or using a push-up bar with weight plate slots.

2. Start with lighter plates and progress to heavier ones as your strength improves.

3. Ensure the weight plates are secured properly and do not shift during the exercise.

4. Maintain proper push-up form, keeping your body aligned and engaging your core.

3. Loaded Backpacks

A loaded backpack is an accessible and cost-effective way to add weight to push-ups. Here's how to use a loaded backpack effectively:

1. Pack a backpack with weight plates, dumbbells, or other heavy objects.

2. Adjust the weight distribution within the backpack to ensure stability and comfort.

3. Put on the backpack and assume a proper push-up position.

4. Perform push-ups while maintaining control and proper form.

4. Weighted Vests

Weighted vests provide an even distribution of weight and are excellent for increasing the resistance of push-ups. Follow these guidelines for using a weighted vest:

1. Select a weighted vest that allows you to add and remove weight as needed.

2. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it over time.

3. Adjust the vest to fit securely, ensuring it does not shift during the exercise.

4. Assume a proper push-up position and perform the exercise with controlled form.

5. Training Partner

Using a training partner can add resistance and variability to your push-ups. Here's how a partner can assist you:

1. Your partner can apply pressure or gently push down on your upper back during the push-up movement.

2. This added resistance increases the challenge for your muscles.

3. Ensure clear communication with your partner to maintain safety and adjust the pressure according to your capabilities.

6. Chains

Chains are a dynamic and adjustable tool for adding weight and resistance to push-ups. Here's how to use chains effectively:

1. Place the chains across your upper back while assuming a proper push-up position.

2. The length of the chains can be adjusted by removing or adding links, allowing for incremental increases in weight.

3. Chains provide variable resistance, with more weight lifted as the chains leave the ground during the exercise.

7. Bands

Resistance bands can add accommodating resistance to your push-ups. Here's how to incorporate bands:

1. Wrap the resistance band around your back and hold the ends firmly in your hands.

2. As you descend into the push-up, the band stretches, providing increased resistance.

3. Experiment with different band tensions to find the level of resistance that challenges your muscles.

8. One-Arm Push-Ups

One-arm push-ups are an advanced progression that demands significant strength and stability. Here's how to progress to one-arm push-ups:

1. Start by practicing on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step, using one arm.

2. Gradually reduce the height of the surface until you can perform one-arm push-ups on the ground.

3. Maintain a strong core, engage your stabilizing muscles, and focus on balance and control throughout the movement.

Advantages of Weighted Push-Ups

Weighted push-ups offer several advantages over regular push-ups, including:

1. Increased Muscle Activation: Adding weight to push-ups engages a greater number of muscle fibers, leading to enhanced muscle activation and development.

2. Progressive Overload: Weighted push-ups allow for progressive overload, a key principle in strength training, by consistently challenging your muscles and forcing them to adapt and grow.

3. Functional Strength and Stability: The additional resistance from weighted push-ups strengthens your core and stabilizing muscles, promoting better stability and functional strength that translates into improved performance in daily activities and sports.

When and Why to Choose Weighted Push-Ups

Weighted push-ups are beneficial for individuals who have already built a solid foundation with regular push-ups and are looking to take their training to the next level. Here are some scenarios where weighted push-ups can be advantageous:

1. Strength and Muscle Gain: If your goal is to build strength and increase muscle size, weighted push-ups provide the necessary stimulus to promote muscle growth.

2. Progressive Resistance: Regular push-ups may become easier over time as your muscles adapt. Weighted push-ups allow you to continually challenge your muscles by adding resistance and progressing your training.

3. Plateau Breaking: If you have reached a plateau in your push-up progress, incorporating weighted push-ups can help break through the stagnation and push your limits further.

4. Athletes and Sports Performance: Weighted push-ups enhance functional strength and stability, making them beneficial for athletes who want to improve their performance in sports that require upper body strength, such as basketball, martial arts, or rock climbing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will weighted push-ups make me bulky?

Weighted push-ups, like any resistance training, can contribute to muscle growth. However, the extent of muscle gain depends on various factors, including genetics, nutrition, and overall training program. If your goal is to build lean muscle without excessive bulk, adjust your weight selection and training volume accordingly.

Are weighted push-ups suitable for beginners?

Weighted push-ups are more suitable for individuals who have already developed a base level of strength with regular push-ups. Beginners should first focus on mastering proper push-up form and gradually building their strength and endurance before incorporating weighted variations.

How do I determine the right amount of weight to use?

Start with a conservative amount of weight that challenges you without compromising your form. As a general guideline, aim for a weight that allows you to perform 8-12 repetitions with proper technique. Gradually increase the weight as your strength improves.

How often should I include weighted push-ups in my training?

The frequency of weighted push-up training depends on your overall training program and individual goals. Aim for 2-3 sessions per week, allowing sufficient rest and recovery between workouts to prevent overtraining.

Can I combine different weight addition methods?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment and combine various weight addition methods such as dip belts, weighted vests, or chains to add variety and challenge to your push-up routine. Just ensure that you maintain proper form and safety throughout the exercise.

Final Set 

Adding weight to your push-ups is an effective strategy to elevate your strength training and achieve remarkable results. Whether you choose dip belts, weight plates, loaded backpacks, weighted vests, or other methods, the key is to prioritize safety, proper form, and progressive overload.

Weighted push-ups provide an opportunity to challenge your muscles, promote muscle growth, and improve functional strength and stability.

By incorporating these techniques into your training regimen with patience and consistency, you can unlock new levels of strength and reach your fitness goals. Embrace the challenge, push your boundaries, and enjoy the rewards of a stronger, fitter you!

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