The Ultimate Resistance Band Chest Workout

If you’re short on time, can’t get to the gym, are away from home, or recovering from injury, then this resistance band chest workout will be perfect for you. Does a resistance band workout mean a less effective workout? Not at all. See this article where I set out the scientific case and benefits of working out with resistance bands.

resistance bands for chest

Let’s Build A Big Chest

There’s no doubt that a well muscled chest is a crucial component in any aesthetic physique. Only hard work will deliver the perfect pecs that you’re aiming for, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours under a bar loaded with weights. Training with weights is the most effective way to build serious muscle mass, but it’s not the only way.Pecs

In this simple chest routine we’re going to use resistance bands and press-ups to hit the lower, mid and upper chest with equal intensity. We’re also adding in two variations of band pullovers to extend the thoracic spine and improve shoulder mobility while giving the chest a little break between rounds.

If you don’t know what a resistance band pullover is, watch this video for a good demonstration of the lying resistance band pullover.

For a solid example of the standing resistance band pullover, see this video:


In total there’s 270 reps built into this workout, so what it lacks in resistance it more than makes up for in volume. And if you didn’t already know: volume = gains.

Resistance Band Chest Press

This workout centres around the resistance band chest press, so let’s have a brief look on how you’ll be performing this exercise.

  1. Place the door anchor that came with your resistance bands either above your door or underneath it.
  2. Stand with your back to the door and take hold of each handle.
  3. Keep your elbows close to your body, thumbs and palms facing your chest.
  4. Take a step forwards so that the bands are tensioned and place one foot in front of the other so that you are totally stable.
  5. This is your starting position. From here, engage you chest and push the bands forwards, locking your elbows.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position keeping elbows down and close to your ribcage. Keep the tension in the chest and allow the bands to pull your hands back to the starting position in 2.

Partial Reps – A Hack For an Awesome Pump

This is the secret sauce that will double the effectiveness of each rep. You will have noticed that in the starting position, there isn’t all that much resistance, whereas at the closing position the bands are really working against you.

If you perform a rep in the traditional way as set out above, your chest will be missing out, as it is your triceps that get most of the benefit of the increasing resistance towards the end of the movement as you lock out your elbows.

Pecs

To shift the emphasis of the movement on the chest, you’re going to go from the starting position, where your elbows are behind your body, to pressing your arms out in front of you until you are 3/4 of the way to locking out.

Now return to the starting position and without pausing proceed to push your hands out fully to lock your elbows as described in step 5, above.

This constitutes one rep.

By performing the chest press in this way, you are negating the main disadvantage of working out with elastic bands: which is the variable tension throughout a movement. You do this by effectively doubling the workload for the beginning part of the rep which suffers from less resistance.

You’re also increasing the time your chest is under tension, which some people say contributes to muscle growth.

This Is The Ultimate Resistance Band Chest Workout

ExerciseRepsRounds
Standard Pushup15
High Achor Chest Press153
Standing Banded Pullover15
Feet Raised Pushup15
Low Anchor Chest Press153
Lying Banded Pullover15
Total Reps270

Training Tips

You may have noticed that unlike a lot of other guides on how to perform the resistance band chest press, I do not advise that the elbows flare out. This is to protect the rotator cuff.

When performing the resistance band chest press from a low anchor point (underneath the door), this is analogous to an incline chest press which focuses on the upper chest muscles and the showy pec-dealt tie in. At the end of the movement your hands should be higher than your head.

When performing the resistance band chest press from the high anchor point (above the door) this is analogous to a decline chest press which focuses on the lower chest muscles. At the end of the movement your hands should be about level with your navel.

How Was It For You?

If you got through the entire workout, drop me a note below and let me know how you got on. Expect to be sore tomorrow (but in a good way!).

Here’s to your perfect pecs!!

8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Resistance Band Chest Workout

  • 11/03/2021 at 3:31 pm
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    This is a simple piece of equipment, but your post shows that it is a must have piece of equipment.

    As someone who has never used them before, your detailed instructions are essential.

    The videos are great at showing me how to use them correctly.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this information.

    Reply
    • 11/03/2021 at 3:43 pm
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      Geoff, thank YOU for reading the article and taking the time to comment. You’re right – resistance bands are cheap and simple to use, yet by using the anchor points and different attachments, you have many many exercises to try. I’ll be sharing more resistance band workouts, so please come back and give them a try!

      Reply
  • 11/03/2021 at 3:35 pm
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    Thank you for this new idea, as I am finding ways of improving my home workouts, without spending a lot. I have seen these bands before, but I never thought how useful they could be. The video and the description help. I am also grateful for the guidance of the amount of reps that I would need to do . I really need the resistance training that this offers. I am bookmarking your page, Matt

    Reply
    • 11/03/2021 at 3:40 pm
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      Thanks for the response JJ! I’m glad you found this workout helpful.

      Yes, please do come back as I’ll be building an entire program based around training with fitness bands. You’re right – they are a cost effective way of getting a comprehensive home workout and the latest bands that are available are a lot better than the versions that became popular in the early 2000s.

      Reply
  • 11/03/2021 at 3:38 pm
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    Hi Matt. Very interesting article. With spending more time then ever in home and gym closed keeping good shape is more challenging. Im training in home but results are not satisfying enough. Definitely I will try your training and advices, it seems straightforward, effective and what’s most important easy to perform inside. Looking forward to see results, hopefully before holidays.

    Reply
    • 11/03/2021 at 3:45 pm
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      Yes Cogito. Training at home CAN be just as effective as the gym, bu it requires a lot of self-motivation and you have to make the most of the equipment you have available. That why I built this website! I hope you’ll come back and try some of the new workouts I’ll be sharing soon.

      Reply
  • 11/03/2021 at 3:41 pm
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    I am happy I have found this article. I was thinking about buying some resistance band. I have to admit that I raised an eyebrow when I saw your ultimate resistance band chest workout. Great! I don’t think that I will be able to finish the workout on the first try, but I will for sure work on it. I know that you can use resistance band for your legs too. Thanks for this great article.

    Reply
    • 11/03/2021 at 3:48 pm
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      Hey NoBoss! You’re right, the rep count on this is high!! It is achievable but it’s a lengthy workout the require real fortitude to complete. 

      My resistance band workout for legs is in progress – so keep checking back!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Reply

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