Everyone has their favorite part of the body to work out. For some people, pumping up those biceps and triceps is the best day of the week. For others, it’s all about the legs, core, or the back. But if you ask anyone what the most satisfying part of the body to work is, they’ll probably tell you the chest.
Getting some bulging pectoral muscles is clear evidence that you’ve been lifting, and strong chest muscles make you look more toned, buff, and healthy overall. Of course, there are some serious health benefits to having a strong chest as well.
But you don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership to pack on some pecs. In fact, all you need is your body weight and your Gorilla Bow.
Discover our top five favorite chest exercises that you can do right from the comfort of your own home.
Before you can start working on your pecs, you first need to understand exactly what muscles are being worked, as well. Pec is short for pectoral, and the pectoral region contains four muscles that make up what we know of as the chest.
The pectoralis major is the most superficial muscle in the human body, meaning it is the most visually pronounced. When you see someone with a bulging chest, it’s because their pectoralis major is super jacked. Basically, it’s what you envision when you think of a chest muscle.
The pectoralis minor exists underneath the pectoralis major. Even though you can’t see it, it’s still essential to be able to complete chest-based movements.
The third muscle in the pectoral region is the serratus anterior, which exists on the sides of your body underneath your armpit. People with a pronounced serratus anterior tend to have the appearance of being super buff and toned, so you don’t want to forget about this one during your routine.
Finally, the subclavius is a small muscle under the clavicle and above the first rib. This offers some protection to the underlying neurovascular structures to prevent injury in that region.
Importance of a Strong Chest
While having a big chest has loads of aesthetic benefits and makes you look more fit overall, there are some functional reasons why you’ll want to do these five exercises as much as possible, as well.
For one, your chest improves the strength of your back muscles. When coupled together, a strong back and a strong chest help to promote good posture, which can avoid back problems down the line.
Also, most of your upper extremities are connected to your chest muscles in some form, so having a strong chest can actually contribute to upper body strength as a whole. If you can pump up your pecs, your biceps, triceps, and shoulders may soon follow.
Our Five Favorite Chest Exercises
Enough talk. Let’s get to work. These five chest exercises are sure to have your pecs in agony by the end, but you’ll notice results fast.
So whip out your Gorilla Bow so we can get started.
1. Chest Press
If you’re really trying to amplify your chest muscles, you might as well start with an exercise that has the word right in its name. Chest presses are the quintessential chest exercise that works your pectoral muscles while also challenging your triceps and shoulders.
Chest presses are usually difficult to do at home because they require pretty heavy free weights to accomplish properly. And once you improve, you need to spend a ton of money on a brand new set of weights.
However, the Gorilla Bow makes it easy, convenient, and comfortable.
Here’s how to do a Gorilla Bow Chest Press:1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Wrap the resistance band under your shoulder blades and hold the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, elbows bent.
2) Keeping your spine straight, push your arms forward and straighten them out. As they are fully extended, squeeze your chest muscles together and hold for a breath.
3) Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for eight to 10 reps, three sets.
You can also complete this exercise while laying down flat on the floor and pushing the bar straight toward the ceiling. This works the same muscles; it might just limit your range of motion on the return.
Some of the best workouts require nothing more than your body weight, and push-ups are a prime example. These exercises are deceptively challenging and work a wide range of upper body muscles, including the chest, triceps, shoulders, the back, and even the core.
While you can definitely do push-ups with just your body, you can make them even more challenging (and effective) by incorporating your Gorilla Bow into the mix. Trust us — you’ll be feeling the burn.
To do a Gorilla Bow push-up:1) Wrap the resistance bands behind your shoulder blades and hold the bar under your palms.
2) Get into a high plank position with your hands on the floor, holding the bar down against the floor.
3) Lower your body slowly towards the floor, keeping your elbows tight against the sides of your body. Hold for one breath when your chin is only about an inch off of the floor. Keep your spine straight without bending.
4) Push yourself back up towards the ceiling into the starting position. Repeat eight to 10 reps for three sets.
The resistance band will try to hold you against the ground but push through the pain for a seriously satisfying end result.
3. Band Flys
Many chest exercises also work a number of other muscles in the surrounding areas. While band flys still challenge the triceps and the back, these are some of the more isolating exercises for the chest as a whole.
Band flys are deceptively tough, so you may want to start with a lower weighted resistance band to start. You can also do this exercise with the resistance band attached or detached from the band — completely your choice.
To do a band fly with a resistance band or the Gorilla Bow:
1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Wrap both ends of the resistance band around your hands for extra grip.
2) Hold the band with your arms straight out in front of you, with hands shoulder-width apart. Slowly pull the bands apart, keeping your arms straight until the band is pulled flat against your chest and your arms are straight out to your sides.
3) Very slowly, return the band to the starting position feeling a stretch in your pectoral muscles.
4) Repeat eight to 10 reps for three sets.
4. Incline Press
A typical chest press will work the central region of your pectoral muscles. But incline presses focus the energy on the upper portions, giving some love to your subclavius. These are just like chest presses, except your push out at a 45-degree angle rather than laterally.
You’ll usually need a bench and some free weights to do an incline press, but if you have the Gorilla Bow, that’s all you’ll need. So take a seat, and let’s get started.
Here’s how to do a Gorilla Bow incline press:1) Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent, your back at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Sit on the resistance band portion and hold the bar in your hands, a bit wider than shoulder-width with elbows bent.
2) Slowly push the bar straight up towards the ceiling, squeezing your chest muscles at the top of the movement. Hold for a breath.
3) Slowly lower back to the starting position.
4) Repeat eight to 10 reps for three sets.
This exercise also does a bit more work on your shoulders than a typical chest press, so you may need to lower the weight from the traditional chest press that you completed earlier.
5. Decline Press
What goes up must come back down. After doing your incline press, you’ll want to supplement with the decline press to work out the lower portion of your chest muscles as well. Not to mention, this exercise focuses a bit more on the front portion of your shoulders.
Yet again, you usually can’t do decline presses from home unless you’ve got a fancy home gym. But the Gorilla Bow makes it much more accessible to complete a vast assortment of exercises from anywhere, even while traveling.
To do a Gorilla Bow Decline Press:
1) Stand in a staggered position with your left foot one step in front and your right foot one step behind. Wrap the resistance band a bit below your neck and hold the bow with hands wider than shoulder-width, elbows bent.
2) Push the bow at a 45-degree angle towards the floor, feeling a stretch in the lower portion of your chest. Hold at the apex of the movement for a breath.
3) Slowly return the bow to the starting position.
4) Repeat 4-5 reps then switch legs. Complete three sets.
The Ultimate Chest Routine
If you want to make the most out of these five exercises, you need to sandwich them between a proper warm-up and a killer cooldown. Additionally, you need to throw in some cardio to burn some fat and make your chest look extra swole.
For your warm-up, you’ll want to get your blood pumping so it can carry enough oxygen to your aching pecs during the routine. We recommend doing a couple of minutes of a HIIT routine to start working up a sweat without going overboard.
Some good chest-focused cardio moves include:
- Plank pull-throughs
- Shuffle press-ups
Then, after you complete your chest routine, you’ll want to spend some time on cardio. While some people choose to do cardio before strength training, it might be a better idea to do it after so that you don’t fatigue your muscles before you ever get started. Running and cycling are great cardio activities, but we also love water rowing to work your whole upper body as well.
Finally, you need to end it all with a proper cool down to regulate your blood flow and ease into recovery. This is where it’s essential to stretch so that your chest doesn’t feel sore the next day or get too stiff. A standing chest stretch or a lateral pullover stretch are two great ones to stretch your chest and triceps after the ridiculous chest-driven routine.
An Enjoyable Challenge
Chest workouts are some of the most fun, challenging, and satisfying to do. But most of them require expensive weights and benches, which aren’t accessible in your home gym. However, the Gorilla Bow makes a wide arsenal of chest-driven exercises possible from any location.
Exercises like the chest press, incline press, and decline press work different areas of your chest and shoulders to create an all-around upper body workout. Push-ups can be taken to a whole new level with the addition of the Gorilla Bow, and band flys can supplement it all with a chest-driven, back-focused move.
But there’s a lot more where that came from. The Gorilla Bow All-Access Membership gives you access to live and on-demand classes right from the comfort of your own home. From Tabatas to HIIT routines, you’ll get the most out of your Gorilla Bow while simultaneously getting the most out of your life.