T Nation

Bench Press Substitutions

I’m trying to accomplish all I can at homewithout a gym membership. I don’t have a barbell at this time, so I’ve been doing dumbell bench presses instead.

But now I want to increase the wieght without going out a buying new equipment. So I had the idea of working the same muscle groups by doing a weighted push up instead. I put a dumbell into a backpack and did pushups, elevating my feet on a pilates ball to add more weight to the lift. However, the dumbell settles on my mid back region, pressing down in that area, which changes the dynamics of the lift.

Is this a viable alternative to a barbell bench press? Am I risking a back injury by having a weight on my mid-back?

Is there a formula for converting a pushup to a bench press? I’m guessing that with a flat push up, you can multiply your body wieght times some figure (.7?) to get the equivelent bench press weight. If you elevate your feet, you get a higher number (.8?).

why cant you get a gym membership? There is no real substitution for the bench. Pushups are great, but as far as loading is concerned you have to bench. If you have heavier db’s then go with those…

Try wearing a backpack with weights in it–that will keep the weight further up on your body. Also, invest a few bucks in bands and do dumbbell presses with bands. That adds resistance at the top of your range of motion. I would also check garage sales and thrift stores for cheap weight sets. You can sometimes get some really great deals on benches and barbells.

Push ups and bench press work most of the same muscles but are differant. I have never heard of an equation, everyone is differant. Just like db press and bb press are not entirely the same. Without heavier db’s or going out and buying a barbell, your very limited on what you can do. Try some flys and dips, but eventually you have to buy some new things or join a club.

Holy crap just find something heavy, lie on your back and push it up. Try using your GF/wife/sig. other. Improvise. You can do pretty much anything you want with anything.