You just got a pair of resistance bands, and now you want to know how to use them, right? By doing these resistance band chest exercises at home, you will be off to a flying start!
And to make your flying start even better:
Not only have I collected the 7 best chest exercises, but I have also set up a super-effective chest building program – perfectly suited those evening home workouts.
Let’s get to it!
Resistance Band Chest Exercises at Home: The Top 7
The Best Resistance Band Chest Movements for Strength
If you’re like most people, you probably see movements like the bench press and dip as the best ones for chest strength and development. But, the truth is, you can also use resistance bands and do more than a few great exercises that will make your pectorals scream.
Here are four of them:
1. Band Push-Up
You’re already familiar with the push-up and likely understand how valuable it is. As a bodyweight movement, the push-up offers incredible versatility, helps develop your chest, trains your serratus anterior, and promotes shoulder health (1, 2).
Plus, you can pick from numerous variations to adjust the difficulty to your fitness level.
With the banded push-up, you have to wrap a band around both hands and behind your back. This will help create more resistance near the top position, where the standard push-up is typically easier. As a result, you will be able to build more chest strength.
2. Band Floor Press
The floor press is a fantastic chest exercise because it helps emphasize your pectorals. Since you’re lying on the floor, you cannot use leg drive to contribute to the movement. As a result, you mostly have to rely on your chest, shoulder, and tricep strength to push.
Another significant benefit is that your elbows get to rest on the floor on each repetition, which naturally limits the range of motion slightly and helps keep your shoulders in a safe and healthy position.
Typically, you can do this movement with a barbell or dumbbells, but using a band is also simple and effective. Place the band over your palms and behind your back, lie down, and start pressing.
3. Band Standing Incline Chest Press
We all know that changing the torso angle is a good way to emphasize different chest portions. Specifically, research finds that incline bench pressing helps emphasize the clavicular (upper) part of the chest (3).
If you have nothing but a band to work with, you can do a standing incline press to train that same portion of your chest. Specifically, you need to step over the band, extend one leg forward, and grab the band with both hands to your sides. From there, push forward and up, mimicking the movement pattern you would typically do on an exercise like the incline dumbbell chest press.
4. Standing Band Chest Fly
The fly comes closest to an isolation exercise for your pectorals. Doing this regularly is fantastic for building chest strength and muscle because one function of your chest is arm adduction. In other words, the chest is responsible for bringing your arms from your side toward the midline of your body.
Other Vital Considerations For Chest Strength
Developing your chest muscles directly is essential. But you need the assistance of other muscles in your body to optimize your pushing strength. True athleticism comes from optimizing muscle coordination and teaching yourself how to use multiple muscle groups for different activities.
In the case of chest strength, other vital muscles include your trapezius, lats, rhomboids, rear deltoids, and serratus. These muscles typically work to produce shoulder and back stability, creating a stable base for pushing.
Here are three simple and effective exercises that will help you strengthen these muscles:
1. Horizontal Band Row
Similar to chest flyes, horizontal band rows are simple and effective. All you need to do is wrap the band over something sturdy (for instance, a resistance band door anchor), take a couple of steps back to create band tension, and start rowing. This is an excellent movement for strengthening your lats, rhomboids, and read deltoids.
2. Face Pulls
Pushing exercises are fantastic for building chest, tricep, and shoulder strength. But, developing these muscle groups without paying attention to the back muscles can lead to rounded shoulders and poor posture.
Face pulls are a fantastic exercise to counter this because they work on developing the upper back musculature. This helps cancel out the effect and brings things to balance.
Similar to horizontal rows, wrap a band over something sturdy at face level. Grab the band, take a couple of steps back, bring your elbows up and to your sides, and begin to pull the band toward your face.
3. Straight Arm Band Pullovers
This is another fantastic exercise for strengthening the back muscles. It also involves your chest, shoulders, and triceps to some degree.
To perform it, secure a resistance band on something high (ideally, above your head). Grab the band, take a few steps back to create tension, and bend forward while keeping your back straight. Then, start pulling the band down to your thighs while keeping your elbows straight. Release the band until your arms are in line with your torso and repeat.
A Sample Chest Routine You Can Do At Home
Here is a simple and effective workout you can do anywhere from one to three times per week. Always leave at least a day of recovery in-between:
- Band push-ups – 3 to 4 sets of 5 to 10 reps
- Band floor press – 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 15 reps
- Standing incline band press – 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps
- Standing band chest fly – 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 30 reps
You can also do this routine to train your posterior muscles and further elevate your pushing ability:
- Horizontal band row – 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 20 reps
- Straight arm band pullover – 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 20 reps
- Band face pulls – 2 to 4 sets of 15 to 30 reps
As you can see, there is more than one way to build chest strength. Each of these exercises plays a role in the equation, and combining them is a fantastic way to progress effectively, stay safe, and maintain good posture.
Just make sure you use a proper resistance band – any of these best resistance bands for pull ups should do the trick!
If you want to learn more about how to build strength at home, visit my at-home strength-building resource, LOADED with workouts, reviews, and actionable tips!
See you there!
Other Helpful Resources
- 11 Resistance Band Exercises for Back and Shoulders (That Actually Work)
- Can You Use Resistance Bands Everyday? 4 Critical Questions to Consider
- Do Resistance Bands Wear Out? 5 Tips to Help Your Resistance Bands Live Longer
- The Beginners ABC to Getting Ripped With Resistance Bands
- Alizadeh S, Rayner M, Mahmoud MMI, Behm DG. Push-Ups vs. Bench Press Differences in Repetitions and Muscle Activation between Sexes. J Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(2):289-297. Published 2020 May 1.
- Suprak DN, Bohannon J, Morales G, Stroschein J, San Juan JG. Scapular kinematics and shoulder elevation in a traditional push-up. J Athl Train. 2013;48(6):826-835. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-48.5.08
- Rodríguez-Ridao D, Antequera-Vique JA, Martín-Fuentes I, Muyor JM. Effect of Five Bench Inclinations on the Electromyographic Activity of the Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, and Triceps Brachii during the Bench Press Exercise. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(19):7339. Published 2020 Oct 8. doi:10.3390/ijerph171973394.
- Bergquist R, Iversen VM, Mork PJ, Fimland MS. Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights. J Hum Kinet. 2018;61:5-13. Published 2018 Mar 23. doi:10.1515/hukin-2017-0137