10 Best Resistance Band Chest Exercises for Building Muscle

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: January 8, 2024
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If you’re into bodybuilding, then the chances are that you like showing off your chest. It’s one of the glorious muscle areas.

However, training on your chest with just free weights can be a bit limiting. That’s why I often recommend doing chest exercises with resistance bands.

These exercises can be done from your comfort zone. But before you just try a random set of chest exercises, find out how using resistance bands the right.

It can make a huge difference to your success rate. Let’s dive right into it.

Quick Summary

  • The best chest exercises with resistance bands to add to your workout are the Floor Chest Press, Standard Flye, Incline Press, Crossover Flye, Push-Ups, Rows, Straight Arm Pulldown, Standing Chest Press, Pull Over, and Alternating Punches.
  • It's crucial to practice proper form and techniques in these exercises to prevent overextension and strain.
  • According to Teach Me Anatomy, effective resistance band chest exercises should result in a strong burn in the pectoral muscles and a strain build-up around the shoulder blades.
  • Personally, I find that incorporating resistance bands into chest workouts provides a versatile and impactful approach to enhancing chest muscle development.

Our Top Resistance Band Chest Exercises

These are the ten most suitable resistance band exercises we have come up with that should help you get started with a new approach.

Combine traditional bodyweight exercises with resistance band movements for innovative hybrid workouts, offering a fresh perspective on utilizing resistance bands in your chest exercise regimen.

Prioritize your safety by understanding common mistakes and injury risks associated with resistance band chest exercises, and learn proper form and techniques to prevent overextension and strain.

1. Floor Chest Press

Floor Chest Press-Resistance Band

This is similar to a standard bench press, but by laying down on the floor and using resistance bands, you can significantly reduce the strain on your shoulder.

Start by laying out an exercise mat on the floor and a reasonably thick band placed on top of it.

Now, lay down on the band and grip each end in your hands. You should feel a bit of tension even with your hands close to your chest.

Start the floor chest press with a slow upward movement and get into a position where your arms are fully extended.

You should also feel the strain build up around your shoulder blades along with a strong burn in your pecs, according to the Teach Me Anatomy [1].

For maximum strength build-up, do these about eight times per set.

Related: Best Bench Press Alternatives

2. Standard Flye

In my own workouts, I've found the standard flye with resistance bands to be incredibly effective for chest development.

Start by attaching the bands to a stable object. Stand facing away from the anchor, holding the bands.

Step forward to create tension. Extend your arms in front of you at chest level, then pull them towards your chest in a sweeping motion, engaging your chest and shoulders.

Aim for 3 sets of 8 reps, focusing on the muscle burn in the last few reps.

3. Incline Press

Incline Press-Resistance Band

The Incline Press with a resistance band serves as an effective alternative to the bench press. This exercise doesn't require a bench.

Begin by standing with your feet staggered. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet and place the band under your back foot's heel.

During the exercise, lift your arms upward, finishing with your hands above your head for full muscle engagement.

This should increase tension in your upper chest muscles.

You should also start to feel the burn in your upper back, which is perfectly fine.

4. Crossover Flyecrossover-fly-resistance-bands

From my experience, crossover flyes have been a game-changer for hitting those hard-to-reach chest muscles.

Crossover flyes begin like standard flyes: anchor the bands and stand in a staggered stance with your back to the anchor.

Hands should start at chest height. As you extend your arms, raise one hand slightly above the other for a fuller range of motion, crossing your arms to intensify the chest muscle engagement.

Use thicker bands for more resistance. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps, focusing on muscle tension in the final reps.


5. Push-Ups

Push-Ups-Resistance Band

Push-ups are a great compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in your chest, back, and arms.

One of the best ways you can spice them up a bit is by using some bands to increase the tension.

To gain the most out of this resistance band chest workout, start off in the standard position with your hands on the floor just a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.

The band should run across your back and be relatively tense before you start. The idea is to make it more difficult to push back into a straight arm position.

This exercise would also greatly help you with your serratus anterior muscle which is one of the most neglected muscles out there.

I would recommend aiming for 20 reps in each set, and if the last 2 don’t burn in your muscles, then you need to use a thicker band.

6. Rowsrows resistance band

Having incorporated band rows into my routine, I've noticed a significant improvement in my back and shoulder strength.

To perform band rows effectively, start by sitting on the ground with your legs extended. Choose a thicker band or multiple bands for adequate tension.

Pull slowly to maximize muscle engagement, and consider holding the position briefly with your arms at your chest for increased intensity.

If the bands are too long, anchor them to stabilize and create the necessary tension. Aim for 3 sets of 8 reps for a balanced workout.

If this becomes too easy for you, look into getting a rowing machine.

7. Straight Arm Pulldown

Straight Arm Pulldown-Resistance Band

For this resistance band workout, you’ll need something high to attach the bands to.

Even though a door frame might work, I generally prefer to have a hook attached to the wall up close to the ceiling.

Keep your legs about shoulder-width apart and lean your upper body forward. Your arms should be straight and up over your head.

Pull down on the grips slowly and ensure that your elbows don’t flare out.

That would activate more of your shoulder and arm muscle groups rather than your chest and back.

At the lowest point, try to hold your hands in place for a few seconds before you repeat the move, as this should bring on the burn a bit sooner. Aim for 3 sets of 8 reps while gradually using stronger bands.

8. Standing Chest Pressstanding chest press resistance band

A standing chest press with resistance bands is a great alternative to the lying chest press. I personally prefer the standing chest press for its added range of motion and core engagement.

By standing, you achieve a greater range of motion, especially when you allow your elbows to go slightly behind your shoulders.

Attach the bands near the floor to encourage an upward movement. Begin with your hands at shoulder width, palms down.

Extend your arms fully, pushing forward, and complete 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. Ensure your feet are staggered to maintain balance against the band's tension.

Other types of exercises:

9. Pull Over

Pull Over-Resistance Band

This is a great way to target both your pecs and lats during training.

Attach the resistance band around a heavy exercise machine low to the ground.

Lay down on a mat and grip onto the bands with your arms above your shoulders and elbows straight.

The pulling movement will go towards your legs, and it’s best to start with the bands slightly stretched.

While keeping your arms extended, push them down towards your torso and go as far as you can. Remember to keep those elbows locked and try to hold the strain for a few seconds when you get to the lowest point.

Repeat this for 8 to 10 reps in each set and make sure the last ones burn.

ALSO READ: Best Resistance Band Supersets for Upper Body Workout

10. Alternating Punchesalternating punches resistance band

The final way I like to use resistance bands for my chest is to throw some punches. Alternating punches with bands have been a key part of my chest workouts, offering both strength and cardio benefits.

Start with a similar setup to the crossover flye with the bands secured behind your back and your feet in a staggered stance to give you a bit of hip rotation as well.

Get into a fighting stance with your knees slightly bent and your fists gripping the bands in front of your chest.

Alternate each punch but avoid fully extending your elbow joints [2]. The fast punching move can cause unnecessary pressure on the joint, and you’ll quickly feel it.

“The pectoralis major makes up most of your chest muscle mass. It is large and fan shaped, and is composed of a sternocostal head and a clavicular head.”

- Edward Cooper, Writer at MensHealth.com.


  1. https://teachmeanatomy.info/upper-limb/muscles/pectoral-region/
  2. https://martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/4515/preventing-and-or-healing-sore-wrists-and-elbows-in-boxing
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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
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Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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