This will allow for an even greater range of motion as your elbows are going to go further behind your body and provide a better stretch for your chest. The only drawback is that you are lowering your body’s weight resistance, unless you elevate your feet too.
Do 8-10 repetitions for 3-4 sets, where one of the sets is a band-free warm-up.
You can use heavier band and a rep range of 4-6 to help with building functional strength in your shoulders, chest and triceps. This will aid you in other exercises as well. Mass building exercises, such as the banded push-up, is perfect for you to go heavier and really overload your muscles.
Make sure that you maintain proper form throughout the entire movement to avoid injury and to properly target the chest.
For the same reason, you would want this resistance band chest exercise to be at the start of your workout. Your energy will be the highest at the start of your workout than at the end. This will allow you to go heavier, overload the chest for more growth.
That’s what I call foreshadowing.
Chest flys are great for building chest muscle mass. They are more of an isolated exercise, when compared to the bench press. But it does an even better job at activating the chest’s main function – arm adduction. Pulling the upper arms forward and toward the center of the body.
It’s one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite chest exercises. That should tell you something.
Arnold states “…it is a great movement for hitting the pecs with maximum intensity to achieve maximum growth”. So if your goal is to get bigger pecs, chest flys need to be a part of your workout program.
As, I previously mentioned. The benefit of using resistance bands for chest flys is continuous stress applied to the chest throughout the entire movement of the exercise. This is because you are fighting the resistance generated from the band rather than the gravity of lifting a dumbbell (which decreases as you approach your chest).
There is also an added benefit of doing this exercise with one arm where you can move the band further than the center of the chest. This helps add additional strain to your inner pecs.
Setting up this exercise will require some tinkering and testing to make sure that the band is securely attached and so that you are properly targeting the chest muscles.
You will need to find something sturdy to anchor the resistance band by tying it around. Make sure that the anchor is at your chest level. I personally use the door handle. If your door handle is lower than your chest level, try kneeling down and see whether it is at an appropriate height.
You can also attach the band something like a wall bracket or a sturdy fence post. Whatever you use, make sure that it’s sturdy and can withstand the pressure from the bands. If you have a door anchor this will be a much easier process for you.
And if you don’t I would recommend looking up some. They’re quite handy for resistance band exercises.
- Loop your hand through the band and grab its end.
- Step away from the anchor point of the resistance band, whilst holding the resistance band. Make sure that your hand and the band’s handle are just passing your back (about 5-7 inches).
- Keep your feet firm on the ground and in a staggered stance where one foot is in front of the other.
- Keep your chest puffed out, back straight with a slight arch, and knees slightly bent.
- With a slight bend in your elbow, exhale and pull the band past the center/middle of your chest. Squeeze your chest once you reach that point.
- Inhale and slowly return to your starting position.
Something important to remember when doing this exercise is to try and avoid keeping your arms straight and locking your elbows. This will add unnecessary tension to your elbow joint and take away the strain from the chest. Keep your elbow slightly bent at all times.
Don’t bend them too much either, because then you are enforcing the use of your biceps. This is usually follows when people try to add too much weight when doing this exercise and if you find yourself doing it, lower the weight. Or, you know, use a band with a lower resistance.
Also, avoid having your hand and resistance band too far behind your body. This will add too much tension to your shoulder and is especially dangerous for people who already experience some shoulder pain.
Do 8-12 repetitions for 3-4 sets.
3. Resistance Band Reverse Grip Chest Fly
To get a bigger chest, or promote general muscle growth, you need to add exercises with different “movement patterns” to your workout.
Movement pattern can be summarized by “the way that your body uses the target muscle (being the chest) to move the weight”. Subtle things such as your hand position, the position of your elbows, and movement of your arm. This allows you to target the chest from different angles for better growth.
You should avoid performing multiple exercises that follow the same movement pattern, even when they might appear as different exercises. For example, if your first exercise is band push-ups, it’s not a good idea for your second one to be a banded chest press. Both exercises target the chest through the same movement and involve the chest the same way.
It’s not that it’s a waste of time, per se, but your time exercising can be spent more effectively.
This chest exercise is a good example of a different movement patter even though it is still technically a fly. You will notice that there are other resistance band chest exercises on this list that are similar as the traditional one, but have a variation added to them that activate the chest in a completely different way.
So what’s the difference between the single arm band chest fly and the banded reverse grip chest fly?
The banded chest fly maximizes the stretch of the pecs, while the reverse grip fly focuses on contraction or flex of the chest.
How to do:
- Step on one end of a looped resistance band with your feet at shoulder width apart. Knees bent, chest out, back straight and a slight arch in your lower back for stability.
- Grab the other end of the band with both hand and with your palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
- Exhale and lift your arms up extending the resistance band. Raise the band to your chest level and bring your arms together. Keep your elbows slightly bent and do not fully extend them. Squeeze your chest at the top of the movement and hold that position for a second.
- Inhale and lower the band to the starting position.
The focus of this band exercise is chest contraction (flex). So, remember to flex (squeeze) your pecs once the band reaches chest level.
Remember to bring your hands together to activate the chest.
With the width of your stance you are also shortening the band, which increases the resistance.
Do 8-12 repetitions for 3-4 sets.
4. Decline Resistance Band Push-Ups
The decline angle, i.e. where your upper body is lower than your lower body, is a great addition to an already great exercise that will help you build a bigger, fuller and wider chest. This is because this exercise focuses the tension on the lower portion of your chest. Allowing you to add more “thickness” to your lower pecs.
Due to the decline, your shoulders do less of the work. This helps isolate the chest for a greater pump.
How to set up:
Find a surface where you can rest your feet on. Make sure that you form a 15-30 degree decline.
Similarly to the push-up, drape the band across your upper back.
How to do:
- Get in a push-up position with your feet rested on the elevated surface. Keep your back straight, legs fully extended, your feet close to each other, and your hands at shoulder width and at chest level.
- Inhale and slowly lower yourself towards the floor. Keep your elbows slightly flared. Stop once your chest is about to touch the floor.
- Exhale and push yourself back to your starting position. Do not fully extend your arms and lock your elbows to avoid undesirable strain to the joint.
Do 8-10 repetitions for 3-4 sets. Your first set can be a band-less one as a warm-up.
5. Incline Resistance Band Chest Press
No chest workout would be complete without an incline exercise.
The incline angle targets the upper chest. Why is this important? The upper chest is notorious for being smaller for everyone when compared to other parts of the muscle.
This will promote a fuller and bigger chest development.
Before I get into the “how to” I wanted to mention something that is important for this exercise.
Most people tend to drive their incline too high. This specifically refers to people doing the incline bench press.
The reasons why that is an issue is that the higher the incline angle, the more shoulder activation and the less chest activation (study).
We want our chest to get bigger. And to do so, we have to make sure that every factor that decreases the EMG activation (how much your muscle contracts) is removed from the equation. The fewer factors, the greater the muscle activation, the greater the growth.
Because you are not using a bench to control the angle, you are going to have to use your arm to manipulate the incline angle and create a similar movement pattern.
When doing this resistance band chest exercise I want you to really focus on maintaining a 15 to 30 degree angle of your arm.
Going above that angle will activate your shoulders more and your chest less. You want to avoid that.
And if you are wondering why are you not doing an incline band push-up, like you did with the traditional and decline push-up, it has a lot to do with the contraction of the chest.
Using this method allows for the upper chest to shorten more and contract better. That shortening action will help improve your development.
And the reason why you are using a single arm is so that you can apply enough weighted resistance on your chest.
How to set up:
You will want to anchor the band at about hip height.
Again, this would be much easier if you have a door anchor.
How to do:
- Grab the end of the loop so that it goes across your palm.
- Look away from the door and raise your hand holding the loop at chest level with your elbow fully bent. This is your starting position.
- Take a staggered stance, where one leg is in front the other. Keep your knees slightly bent, back straight with a slight arch in your lower back.
- Exhale and push forward until your arms is almost fully extended. Do not lock your elbow! Once your arm is extended, move your hand further than the center of your chest in the opposite direction of your working arm. So if you’re using your right arm – you’re going left and vice versa.
- Squeeze your chest at the top and hold that position for a second.
- Inhale and lower your hand back to your starting position.
- Repeat for the other side.
Remember to go past the center of your chest and squeeze your pecs for maximum shortening and contraction.
Do 8-10 repetitions for 3-4 sets.
6. Resistance Band Pullover
The pullover is a great exercise that emphasizes on the stretch of the chest muscles. And as you can see, it does it in a different way when compared to chest flys or crossovers.
This band exercise does also activate your lats as they stretch along with the chest to carry out the movement.
With that being said, our goal is to emphasize on chest growth. Which is why, when doing this exercise you want to focus on using your chest to move the band.
And I quite literally mean visualize using your pecs to move the weight. Mind-muscle connection is a powerful tool that is shown to actually promote better and more effective muscle growth (study). But that’s a topic for a separate article all by itself.
How to set up:
Anchor the resistance band to something that is close to the floor. You can use a chair or a table, anything sturdy enough to withstand the force.
If you have a yoga mat on which to lay so it’s more comfortable when laying on the floor.
How to do:
- Position yourself further away from the anchor point so that the band is stretched when holding it.
- Lie on the floor, or on a mat, by holding the resistance band with both hands. Have your arms extended above your head. This is your starting position.
- Exhale and pull the band by engaging your chest muscles. Bring your hands below your chest. Stop once your hands are above your stomach.
- Squeeze your chest and hold that position for a second.
- Inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
Make sure that the band is stretched at your starting position. This is to ensure that your chest is worked throughout the entire movement.
Do 8-12 repetitions for 3-4 sets.
7. Single Arm Kneeling Resistance Band Low Crossover
This resistance band chest exercise is sort of a double whammy. It’s the best of both worlds: it does a great job at contracting the chest (just like the reverse grip chest fly) and the stretch of the chest (like with traditional flys).
The main thing to watch out here is to not incorporate your biceps. Because your elbow is slightly bent and you are using an underhand grip, it can be easy to fall victim to using your biceps to help.
So, make sure that you don’t go too heavy. Just like with the pullover, focus on using your chest moving the weight.
How to set up:
You only need a looped resistance band.
Maybe use a pillow, mat, or some other soft object on which you can kneel.
How to do:
- Get in a half-kneeling position. It resembles a kneeling lunge, with the front leg forming a 90 degree angle and your back leg is the one you are kneeling on.
- Keep your core tight, back straight, chest out and shoulders pushed back.
- Run a looped band through your kneeling leg so that one end of the loop goes around your ankle.
- Grab the band with the hand that is on the same side as your kneeling leg. So if you’re kneeling on your right leg use your right hand, and if you’re kneeling on your left leg, use your left hand.
- Exhale and pull the band to slightly past your centerline on the opposite side of your working arm and kneeling leg. Stop to the point where the band reaches head level.
- Inhale and slowly return the band to your starting position.
8. Standing Resistance Band Svend Press
While the inner chest does not play as big of a role for chest mass, it still is a valuable area to target.
The inner chest is responsible for a fuller and more “ripped” appearance. And let’s be honest, having good inner pecs looks badass.
Coming up with your perfect bodybuilding workout program and diet to match can seem like quite the process. You have to plan how many days a week you’re going to workout, what exercises you will include in your program, how long your rest periods will be, how many reps you should perform for each exercise, and on and on it goes.
Many individuals do tend to feel slightly overwhelmed with the amount of information available out there as to what works ’best’, and therefore take more time than they should to even get going.
The sooner you can get into the gym and start actually pushing the weights, the sooner you will start building bourrinage and seeing your body transform into your ideal
physique. That said, you obviously do need to make sure you are following some sound strategies so that the workouts you are doing will help you build force. If you pay heed to these rules, probabilités are you are going to be on the way to success as long as you also are sure that the nutrition part of the equation is included as well.
The first bodybuilding tip that will make the single biggest difference on your rate of force gain is whether you are able to consecutively add more weight to the bar.
It’s not going to matter how many fancy principles you use, if you aren’t increasing the sheer amount you are lifting over a few months of time, you aren’t building force as quickly as you should be.
The number one priority of any muscle gaining bodybuilding workout program should be lifting heavier and heavier weights.
When you get ’stuck’ and aren’t able to bump the weight up higher, that’s when you start tinkering with other strategies such as drop sets, supersets, etc., as a means to help increase the body’s potential, so that in a few more weeks, you can bump it up to the next weight level.
All those fancy protocols will definitely have an advantage down the road once you’ve attained a level of musculature you’re satisfied with, but until that point, you should use them intermittently when you’re unable to lift heavier.
The second bodybuilding tip to pay attention to is the rule on failure. Some people believe that lifting to failure each and every solo set is the best way to build force. They think that in order to get a bourrinage to grow, you have to fully exhaust it.
While it is true that you have to push the groupes de muscles past their comfort level in order to see progress, you can run into a number of problems when you’re lifting to failure each and every set.
The first major venant is central nervous system fatigue. Workout programs designed to go to failure each and every time will be very draining on the CNS.
After a few weeks of such a program, it’s highly likely that you’ll find the CNS is so exhausted that you can’t even lift the weight you used to for the required number of reps little own increase it upwards.
The deuxième problem with going to failure is that if you do this on the first exercise out in the workout, you’re not going to have much for a deuxième, third, and fourth exercise after that.
Since you should be doing at least a couple of different exercises in each workout you do, this becomes very difficult to accomplish.
Instead, aim to go one to two reps short of failure. This will still get you pushing your body hard and sérieux at the intensity level needed to build bourrinage, but it won’t completely destroy you so that you have to end that workout prematurely and take a day or two off just to recoup.
Bodybuilding tip number three is to focus on compound exercises. You only have a limited amount of time you can spend in the gym each day due to both time and recovery restraints so if you waste this time on exercises that only work one or two smaller bourrinage groups, you aren’t exactly maximizing your potential.
Instead follow the rule that for 80% of your workout you’ll only perform exercises that work at least two force groups.
The shoulder press, for example, will work the shoulders and the triceps. The squat will work the quads and the hamstrings. The bench press will work the shoulders, chest, and the triceps ( even the biceps to a very small degree ).
On the other hand, the barbell curl will only work the biceps, triceps pushdowns will only work the triceps, and leg curls will only work the hamstrings.
All of those exercises aren’t really giving you the best results-to-energy invested trade-off, so it’s best you keep them limited.
What’s more is that compound lifts you’ll typically be able to lift more weight with, and since you read the first tip in this article, you know that’s paramount to success.