Using dumbbells or machines to get in a good chest workout is a classic way to perk up your pecs. The problem is that dumbbells are insanely expensive, and machines take up too much space in the home. And chest exercises are extremely difficult to do with no equipment at all.
With that said, the right to a perfect body is more accessible than ever, thanks to resistance training. Resistance bands are affordable, easy to store, and extremely versatile. They’ll have your chest looking its best in no time.
Strong pectoral muscles are important for more than just your physique. They contribute to upper body strength as a whole while also strengthening the muscles in your back to form good posture.
Resistance bands open the door for tons of versatile and functional chest exercises. Here are our top ten that you can do right from the living room.
1. Chest Press
We’re starting off with one of the most effective and timeless chest exercises in existence. You normally need a barbell to properly complete this one, but now, all you need is your favorite Gorilla Bow and some heavy resistance bands.
To do a Gorilla Bow chest press:
- Secure the band below your shoulder blade. Stand shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
- Push the bar away from your chest, activating your pectoral muscles.
- Hold for a breath before slowly returning to the starting position. Do three sets of ten reps.
Don’t bring the bar too close to your chest in order to continue engaging the resistance throughout the entire movement.
2. Incline Press
This is a variation of the chest press that targets more of your shoulders and upper pectoral muscles. Hopefully, you haven’t tossed your Gorilla Bow to the side just yet—because you’re going to need it again.
To do an incline press:
- Sit on the floor, securing the resistance band under your glutes. Sit with your body at a 45-degree angle with the floor, keeping your spine straight. Hold the bar with hands shoulder-width apart.
- Push the bar up towards the ceiling. Hold at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position. Do three sets of ten reps.
3. Decline Press
We might as well round out all of the chest press variations while we’re at it. This one will focus on your lower pectoral muscles. All of these chest presses will also give your triceps some love as well.
To do a decline press with the Gorilla Bow:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Secure the band behind your upper back and hold the bar at shoulder width or slightly wider.
- Push down on the bow at a 45-degree angle until your arms are almost straight.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Three sets of ten reps.
4. Band Flys
For these, you can put down the bar for a second and just use the bands. Band flys not only engage your pectoral muscles but also activate the muscles in your upper back and your shoulders.
Here’s how to do a resistance band fly:
- Wrap the resistance bands around your hands for grip. Hold your arms straight in front of you, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Pull the bands in opposite directions without bending your elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades.
- Slowly return to the starting position, allowing the resistance to activate your chest muscles.
- Repeat for three sets of ten reps.
5. Resistance Band Push-Ups
Push-ups are a great workout for the entirety of your upper body, but it’s especially great for your chest and triceps. Adding resistance makes this challenging move even more difficult. While it definitely feels more natural when using the Gorilla Bow, you can just use resistance bands to do a resistance push-up.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Place the resistance band behind your upper back and hold the bar or the bands under your hands, shoulder-width apart.
- Complete a push-up, lowering your body to the ground and pushing back. Keep your spine straight and your elbows close to your sides.
- Repeat for three sets of at least ten reps.
6. Anchored Band Standing Chest Press
Just when you thought we were done with the chest presses, we’re throwing another one your way. This is a great variation if you have an anchor point for your resistance bands as it can give you a little bit more range of motion as well as increased resistance.
To do an anchored band chest press:
- Anchor the band at chest height with your back to the band. Take each end and step forward until there is zero slack.
- Lunge forward with your hands at chest height, palms down. Press the bands straight out in front of you.
- Fully extend your arms and squeeze your chest muscles before returning to the starting position.
- Repeat: three sets of ten reps.
7. Clean and Press
The clean and press is a great workout that gives your upper pectoral muscles a run for their money, but it also really works your shoulders, legs, and core. It’s an all-around great resistance exercise that can really only be accomplished with the Gorilla Bow.
To do a clean and press:
- Secure the band under your feet, shoulder-width apart. Hold the bar at chest height.
- Hinge your hips back into a squat position.
- Using your legs, push off of the squat and press the bar up towards the sky, extending your arms.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat three sets of ten reps.
Remember that even though your legs and chest might be able to handle higher weights, this exercise puts an emphasis on the shoulders. Make sure you lower the resistance accordingly.
8. Archer Row
Archers need to have super strong back muscles. And while the archer row exercise will definitely test your posterior, the resistance will also give your chest the attention it deserves. You’ll need your Gorilla Bow again for this one.
To do an archer row:
- Hold the bar with one hand fully extended. Grab the band with the other hand as if holding a bow and arrow. Stagger your stance with your left leg about two feet behind the right.
- Keeping the bar hand steady, pull the resistance band back, bending your elbows, and rotating your hips.
- Slowly return the resistance band to the starting position to engage the chest muscle on one side. Repeat for ten reps before switching arms and repeating.
9. Band Floor Press
Can you tell we love chest presses? We’re going to add one more to your vast catalog of chest exercises. This one minimizes the stress on your shoulders and pretty much isolates the triceps and pectoral muscles.
To do a band floor press:
- Secure the band under your upper back. Grab both ends of the band or the bar at shoulder width.
- Push the bands straight up towards the sky until your arms are almost straight. Hold at the peak of this position, squeezing your chest muscles.
- Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of ten reps.
10. Upright Row
This exercise will focus more on your shoulders and back than your chest, but that’s the point. Strengthening these muscles will give you the ability to maintain tension during chest-focused movements. This means that it can help you lift heavier weights or use higher resistance during your chest presses or push-ups.
To do an upright row:
- Stand on the band shoulder-width apart. Hold the bar or ends of the bands at shoulder width as well.
- Lift the bands straight up to your chin, bending your elbows slightly higher than your hands. Hold for a breath.
- Slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of ten reps.
Dumbbells are great, don’t get us wrong. But resistance training has the added benefit of giving working muscles during the entirety of every move. For that reason, you’ll see your pecs popping with your resistance bands without ever needing to leave home.
You don’t need a fancy gym membership or personal trainer to get the most comprehensive workouts on the planet. All you need is the Gorilla Bow All-Access Membership, which gives you access to live and on-demand classes to expand your arsenal of resistance exercises while taking your physical fitness to the next level.