If you don’t have room for a complete set of weights at home or you can’t get to the gym, have no fear. Resistance bands are here to save the day.
We’ll teach you all of the best exercises you can perform to build your chest muscles.
If you’ve always wanted to make your pecs dance like The Rock, we are here for you.
Time to get that resistance band chest workout going.
Why Resistance Bands?
We like to think, “why not resistance bands.” Most of us don’t have room for lots of weight stacks and barbells in our home gyms.
Resistance bands require very little space and offer the same type of resistance training as weights.
A study looked at the effectiveness of resistance bands vs. weights over five weeks. Specifically, it focused on the bench press vs. a resistance band push-up and EMG level (electromyography)—generally, the higher the level of EMG, the stronger the muscle contraction.
In the end, the study found that the bench press and band chest exercise proved to be comparable for hypertrophy in the pec muscles.
The different tightness in resistance bands allows for progression in muscle building. Also, the further you pull it, the more resistance you meet.
Resistance bands work stabilizer muscles too that are inherent to us as we age and often get neglected in our workout routine.
It might be time to add some resistance band exercises to your regular workout routine, especially when the bench press isn’t readily available. There are many excellent resistance bands to purchase, so check that out right here if you need some.
Working Chest Muscles with Resistance Bands
When working the chest muscles, using a resistance band in conjunction with weights leads to a more varied workout.
You can anchor a resistance band to the barbell to establish more resistance. That said, a resistance band is effective on its own too.
The workouts should include compound exercises (working for multiple muscle groups at once) and isolation movements (activating only one muscle group at a time).
The resistance band allows you to perform both. You can activate the pectoralis major alone or perform compound exercises stimulating both the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor.
Either way, the resistance band will work for both separately or together.
Best Resistance Band Chest Exercises
We’ve been teasing you with the trailer, but now it’s time for the show.
Let’s take a look at some of the best chest exercises with resistance bands you can perform to get The Rock’s chest muscles.
Resistance Band Push-up
Push-ups have never been so much fun.
Adding a resistance band to your push-up will give you just enough extra resistance to thoroughly engage your chest muscles.
To start, place the band around your back and under each hand while in the push-up/plank position. Do your push-up like usual and hold at the top before descending again.
There is always the option of making this more challenging or easier, depending on your fitness level. If you prefer to do the push-ups on your knees, you will still feel the workout through the pecs.
Resistance Band Cross Fly
Pec flys are an excellent way to isolate the chest muscles. To perform this one, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place the band under the feet.
Ensure that you have equal resistance on both sides of your body as you hold the handle in your hands.
With your palm facing the ceiling, bring your right arm diagonally across your body, stopping when you have reached shoulder height. Slowly lower your arm down and repeat on the left side.
When using resistance bands or free weights, many people tend to let gravity take over the exercise. Try to resist that temptation by guiding your arm both up and down with the muscle.
Don’t just let gravity pull your arm down. Fight against it to get the most out of this resistance band chest fly exercise.
You’ll feel those shoulders working on this one, too, for a great compound exercise.
Resistance Band Chest Fly
For this exercise, you need to anchor your resistance band around something stable.
We recommend a door or post that won’t budge when you start to pull on the band. Once it’s anchored, grab both ends of the band, ensuring you have even distribution on both arms.
You can perform this with your feet slightly apart (about hip-width) or with one foot in front of the other with the knees slightly bent.
With your palms facing each other, bring your hands together in front of your chest and then release them back out to the side. Make sure you hold the contraction in front of you for a second before releasing.
It’s essential with this exercise not to allow your arms to come too far back behind you as you press them out to the side.
Work against the resistance bands to feel this chest workout. Your arms should be at shoulder height, and ensure you bring the hands directly in front of your chest.
Resistance Band Straight Arm Pulldown
This exercise focuses a lot on your upper back and lats (side back) and engaging your chest. We love these compound exercises.
To begin, simply anchor the band somewhere high and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Grab each handle while keeping the arms straight, pull the band down past your hips.
Hold for a second and then release back up. Remember to keep your arms straight during this exercise to get the maximum effect.
Resistance Band Pullover
This chest exercise is done lying down on your back with the resistance band anchored behind you slightly higher than your body.
You should hold the band directly over your chest with your arms straight, so make sure it’s anchored high enough to allow that.
With straight arms, lower them down to the floor, hold for a second and then lift them all of the way back behind your head.
Straight is the word of the day with this exercise. Don’t bend those elbows. All of the chest muscles are engaging here as well as your core and shoulders.
Resistance Band Pull-Ups
If pull-ups have always been your nemesis, resistance bands are here to help.
By looping a resistance band around the pull-up bar and then another loop to put your foot into, you can utilize the band to help as you lift your body.
This is an excellent exercise for beginners who are trying to achieve their first pull-up.
Let the band help you as you contract your back, chest, and arm muscles to lift yourself to the pull-up bar.
Resistance Band Rows
This exercise focuses on strengthening the upper back muscles between the shoulder blades as well as the chest muscles.
In a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you, wrap the band under your feet and grab each handle.
Pull back on the handles, bending your elbows and squeezing your rhomboids. Stop your hands once they reach your hips and hold and then release.
While this exercise works your back more than your chest, that is essential when building chest strength.
Your back and chest need to balance each other out in order to avoid hunched shoulders or injuries.
They are extremely versatile and worth purchasing for your home gym. If you have been on the fence about resistance bands, we’re here to tell you that it’s time to get them.
A chest press with a resistance band will go just as far as a bench press but without all of the bulky equipment.
A resistance band chest workout is right around the corner, people.
Say hello to chest muscles that dance. The Rock better look out. We are coming for him!