Are you looking to build strength and lean muscle in your chest? This article will take you step by step and provide you with tips and techniques to strengthen your chest. Chest muscles are one of the body's largest and most used muscle groups and it is made up of pectoralis major and minor muscle groups.
Your chest is made up of your anterior chain and is responsible for increasing strength during pushing exercises and movements. To build overall strength, you will need to work your chest at different angles and focus on constant tension. Resistance bands provide superior benefits over weights since they don’t rely on gravity and can be used in all three planes of motion.
Resistance bands are elastic bands that use muscle contraction to target the area you want to exercise. People often overlook the efficiency of chest exercises with bands because there's a misbelief that only heavier equipment can strengthen your muscles. This is not true. Resistance bands can be used for a full-body workout as they use linear variable resistance to add load against the muscle movement. This helps build up the body’s strength, shape, and balance.
Can resistance bands support a good chest workout?
Using resistance bands in chest exercises can improve strength in that region and promote muscle growth. As mentioned, these bands provide linear variable resistance, which implies you can increase the resistance by switching to a stronger resistance band or stretching the band further from the anchor point.
Resistance bands also provide constant resistance throughout exercises so you can isolate specific regions of your chest. It is why resistance bands can be used with standard barbell exercises like bench presses to make them more challenging for the chest muscles. Furthermore, these bands can help you perform explosive movements, which can help build strength and muscles faster.
For example, you can use resistance bands to mimic the actions of a bench press but at a faster speed to develop strength. Some studies support that resistance bands can improve similar strength to free weight exercises. You can get the same chest workout benefits from 6 reps of resistance band push-ups as a 6-rep max bench press.
Resistance band workouts for the chest can target all the primary muscles in the region – the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior. Another essential aspect of resistance band chest exercises is that people who struggle with traditional chest exercises can easily do these workouts. If you are unable to perform chest workouts due to injury or lack of relative upper-body strength, resistance bands can help.
The bands are unique because they provide resistance when contracting (concentric) and lengthening (eccentric). This keeps a constant load on the muscles for maximum gains. Also, you can do low-resistance chest exercises using resistance bands while maintaining better motion control.
Below are the best resistance band workouts for the chest that you can perform anywhere, anytime.
Top resistance band exercises for chest
1. Resistance band push-up
This is a variation of a regular push-up but harder. It targets the chest and triceps to improve upper-body strength.
- Warp the resistance band around your back, passing under your shoulders.
- Holding the band, get into a plank position.
- Keeping your back straight, lower your body until you almost touch the floor.
- Push back up, stretching the band.
- If you do not feel enough resistance at the top of the position, you need to adjust the resistance band to increase tension.
2. Resistance band incline chest press
While you can use an anchor point to make this workout more effective, it can also be done without an anchor.
- Stand firm on your feet and place the center of the resistance band under your left foot.
- Step the right foot forward enough to offset your legs while the band is anchored under the left foot.
- Holding the band's handles firmly, place your hands near the shoulders.
- Push forward at a 45-degree angle, stretching the resistance band as much as possible.
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
- It can be that the band is rubbing against your arm or shoulder. If it's too inconvenient, you can adjust the angle by widening the angle of the press or leaning more forward.
Here is a video explaining how to do resistance band incline chest press.
3. Resistance band bench press
- Lie down on your back and keep the resistance band under the shoulder blades.
- Hold the ends of the bands with a tight grip and bring your elbows to the side of your shoulders, keeping them bent. Pull the band towards the ceiling to increase resistance in the resting position.
- In a controlled motion, press your arms over your chest, stretching the band. Hold this position for a few seconds, and return to the resting position.
- If you find the resistance band bench press on the ground too comfortable, you can make it more challenging by using a bench or foam roller to lie on.
Check out this video and learn to do resistance band bench press.
4. Resistance band chest fly
- Anchor the band to a point at your hip or chest height.
- While grasping the ends of the resistance band, stand and draw your face away from the anchor.
- Now move forward until you feel a slight stretch in the band. For better stability, you can keep one foot in front of another.
- Keeping your elbows slightly bent, bring your arms up to shoulder level. Bring the band across the body to meet in front of the chest.
- Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
A sample resistance band chest workout at home
If you are a beginner, you can follow this routine of resistance band workouts for the chest two days a week and maintain a gap of two days. Once you have gained strength, you can move to a 3-5 times a week routine.
Four sets of resistance band push-ups (8-10 reps)
2–3 mins rest before starting exercise 1
Do four sets of 8–12 reps. Take rest for 3 minutes before starting with the next exercise
3–5 sets of 8-10 reps each. Rest for 3 minutes before moving on
3–4 sets of 8–14 reps each
It's essential to release the tension in your arms and chest. Stretch the arms and chest and hold the position for about 30 seconds.
Get better results with LIT AXIS
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With built-in sensors to track each axis of movement, correct muscle imbalances, and monitor resistance loads and time under tension, you have an injury-proof system to exercise chest muscles. The LIT Method app has hundreds of workouts from world class instructors that will help you build lean strength and muscle in your chest, try a 30-day risk-free trial today!
Resistance band workouts for the chest can be equally as effective as using weight machines. Plus, you can use bands at home, office, or anywhere. With the resistance band chest exercises and sample workout routine shared here, you have no reason to skip your chest workout anymore.