Chest Exercises with Resistance bands
The advantages of using resistance bands are immense. It is indeed possible to do chest exercises with resistance bands to break the routine, increase your strength, power, and muscle mass.
Used by many professional athletes, such as powerlifting champions, weightlifters and bodybuilders, resistance bands are a very interesting material for chest exercises.
The first and most obvious advantage: the resistance bands are very practical (they fit in your luggage when you travel), the ease of use at home (like bodyweight exercises), and the change that it can bring to your exercises with weights.
There is also the mechanical advantage, the resistance is stronger where you are strongest (unlike traditional bars and dumbbells). It also breaks down the nervous adaptation to which muscles are often subject. The risk of injury with resistance bands is much lower than with weights.
If you want to know more about the advantages of resistance bands, here's a Top 10 Resistance Band Benefits.
How do resistance bands work for your workout?
Resistance bands can be used on movements with weights (bars/machines/pulleys) or on bodyweight exercises for the chest (ex: push-ups).
Resistance bands regularly increase the weight (resistance) throughout the range of motion. In other words, the harder you pull on the resistance bands, the more difficult the exercise will be. The less you pull, the less resistance there will be.
This is a good thing because when the muscle is not in a position to be at its maximum strength (the time when the risk of injury is greatest), there is less resistance. The risk of injury with resistance bands is therefore much lower than with weights, where the resistance is constant from the beginning to the end of the exercise.
And this change in resistance is also found during the negative phase (which is important since it is mainly during this phase that muscle growth takes place).
Each type of resistance band, depending on its size, offers variable resistance to improve your acceleration and explosiveness.
For someone who wants to add more muscle, the method of "offloading" (elastic that relieves where the muscle is weaker) is a good idea. This allows you to manipulate higher loads (in an elevated position) while reducing the risk of muscle, tendon, and joint damage.
For example, in the bench press, the majority of pec tears occur when the bar is closest to the chest. For this reason (among others), many bodybuilders do not lower the bar all the way down. With resistance bands, the load is lightened when the bar is lowered, which minimizes the risk of a tear or shoulder injury.
The Best Chest Exercises with Resistance Bands:
Find a place where you can attach your resistance bands so that they are at chest height. I know a brand that sells resistance bands with a door anchor. It's handy for attaching the bands and working efficiently. I will introduce you to this brand at the end of the article.
If not, find a post around which you can pass your band to keep it in place. The band should be placed at chest level so that you can work your chest muscles properly.
Make sure that the object you choose is stable and securely attached to the floor and/or ceiling. You will use it to create a resistance against which you will work your body. Make sure that the object cannot fall or move during your exercises.
Chest exercises with resistance bands:
1 - Standing spread: This introductory exercise will strengthen your chest in two simple movements. It is a good alternative to the pectoral resistance machines found in gyms.
- Start by passing the resistance band around the stable object. Hold one end of the resistance band in each of your hands and spread your hands the distance of one arm. Make sure your arms are straight, but not so tight that your elbows are blocked. Your arms should be at shoulder height. The resistance bands should rub against your back during the exercise.
- Inhale as you move both arms forward so that your hands meet in front of your chest. Try to bend your elbows very slightly, while keeping your arms straight.
- Exhale as you return to your original position, with your arms outstretched on each side.
- Repeat these movements, inhaling and exhaling, doing 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
2 - Horizontal Rowing: As with the previous exercise, the resistance band will be fixed to a table or sofa leg, a post, a window, a door, or whatever. Attach the resistance band as you can, keeping in mind that the anchor point and the angle of pull will affect the muscle area being worked on. Play on angles, that's why resistance bands are a wonderful tool.
- Here again, you can sit down, but don't lean back, keep it straight. Your range of motion should be maximum, your hands should be touching your ribs and your elbows should be far behind you. If this is not the case, the resistance of your band is probably too great, take a thinner band. When you pull, do not raise your shoulders, this will take the tension off your back and your chest.
- Inhale as you bring both arms out in front of you, so that your hands meet in front of your chest.
- Exhale as you return to your original position with your elbows against your ribs on either side of your body.
- Repeat these exercises as you inhale and exhale, and do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
3 - Inclined Press: Many use the bench press + tilt press combo to work the chest at different angles when they are in the gym. Guess what? We can do exactly the same with the resistance bands.
- To make it very easy, place the resistance band(s) in your lower back and hold it by the handles. Sit with your back to the wall, the push will come from underneath to target the top of the chest. Push at a 45° angle to get the desired inclination.
- Be careful not to bring your arms together (keep the trajectory straight) at the end of the trajectory, otherwise, you will involve your triceps more. Hold the final position (arms outstretched) for a few seconds because this is where the maximum intensity and the peak of contraction occur (valid for all the exercises with a resistance band).
- Inhale as you bring both arms towards you.
- Exhale as you return to your starting position, arms outstretched upwards.
- Repeat these movements, inhaling and exhaling, and do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Bench Press and push-ups using a resistance band:
1 - Make a bench press with the resistance band. To do this exercise, you will need access to a weight bench that you can lift. If you don't have a weight bench, you can use a conventional bench as long as you can lift it and it resists the weight of your body.
- Run the resistance band around one or both feet of the bench, as close to your head or upper body as possible. Lie down on the bench and hold one end of the resistance band in each hand. Your elbows should be bent and pointing outward.
- Inhale as you stretch your arms above your head. Then exhale as you bring your arms back to your chest with your elbows bent and pointing outward.
- Do 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
2 - Try a standing bench press. This exercise will be ideal if you have little sports equipment and are looking for a way to strengthen your chest. You will need to have access to a stable object that you can use as a resistance point during the exercise.
- Run the tape around the object to create a 45° angle. You can also do this exercise by placing the resistance band at 90° if you cannot find a stable object low enough.
- Hold both ends of the resistance band so that the handles are horizontal in your hands and your elbows are positioned along your body.
- Breathe in as you extend your arms out in front. Then exhale as you pull your arms back so that your elbows are bent and touch your torso.
- Repeat these movements 10 to 15 times.
3 - Practice doing push-ups against a wall, using your resistance band. Try this exercise if you are just starting to use your band and are looking to build up your chest muscle mass. Push-ups on the floor can be difficult when you are just starting to work out. Start by doing your push-ups against a wall or door.
- Run the resistance band around your body, under your shoulder blades, against the center of your back. Hold the band just below the handles and place your hands against a wall or door. Stand with your legs stretched behind you and close together. Your body should be at an angle to the door or wall.
- Inhale and push against the wall with your hands as you lower your body towards the wall. Exhale as you move your body away from the wall with your arms.
- Repeat these movements 10 to 15 times.
4 - For a more difficult exercise, try military push-ups with your resistance band. Once you can easily do push-ups against a wall, do your push-ups on the ground, still using your resistance band.
- Pass the resistance band around your torso, so that it is just below your shoulder blades. Grasp the resistance band so that your hands are just below the handles and on the floor, in line with your shoulders. Keep your legs stretched out behind you, your feet together.
- Inhale as you press your hands against the floor and lower your body. Exhale as you push your hands against the floor and raise your body off the floor.
- Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of these movements.
When using resistance bands, you will need to choose a resistance appropriate to your strength on the exercise. When performing the exercise, the band must be fixed in such a way that the band offers resistance even in the lowered position, so be sure to define the length of the band.
It is currently difficult to find good quality resistance bands that are available at affordable prices. There are so many brands that raise prices to make big margins. Especially during the Covid-19 period, many people did sports to stay in shape, therefore the prices of home sports equipment have increased.
The only brand I know of that has not increased its prices is the Haryzona brand. It offers a very good quality resistance band kit at a price of $34.99. Delivery is free.
This kit includes 5 resistance bands, 2 handles, 1 door anchor, 1 carrying bag, and 2 ankle straps for leg training.
There is even a small booklet included in the kit, showing all the exercises you can do with these resistance bands.
The cherry on the cake, Haryzona offers all its customers a full-body workout program with the resistance bands (30 exercises).
I really think that the Haryzona brand is one of the best brands of home fitness and strength training equipment.
To conclude, I will say that the use of resistance bands is not the same as weights. We are in the notion of progression and not of record. We progress by increasing the tension of the elastics, by increasing the thickness or by combining them.
Thank you for reading me, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me in the comment section. I will be happy to answer them.
Tell me also what you think about this resistance bands chest workout!
Thank you very much.
If you want more,
Try out our Resistance Band Workout for Arms