Target Your Chest, Triceps and Core With These 6 Resistance Band Moves

a vertical infographic showing the calendar of workouts for the 4-week resistance band challenge, with chest, triceps and core workouts on wednesdays; leg and shoulder workouts on thursdays; rest days on fridays; low-intensity cardio on saturdays; back, biceps and core workouts on sundays; HIIT workouts on mondays and rest days on tuesdays
A resistance band is a simple, convenient way to target your chest and triceps.
Image Credit: Peter Marino/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Resistance bands are inexpensive, versatile and easy to store — plus they deliver. This challenge builds full-body strength using only bands. Get all the details on the challenge here.

While the barbell bench press reigns supreme as the most common chest exercise, there are other ways to work your pectoral muscles. That's good news if you're traveling, working out at home or don't feel comfortable with a barbell. The solution? A resistance band.

Advertisement

"Resistance bands increase peak contraction, so your chest is getting more stimulation throughout the entire range of motion, especially the finish position," says Peter Marino, CPT, certified personal trainer and owner of Posh Fitness, an online personal training platform.

Advertisement

"In contrast, a traditional bench press is hardest at the bottom portion or lower position of the exercise and easiest at the top/finish position."

Advertisement

Marino created this chest resistance band workout (and added in some triceps and core work as well) as part of our 4-Week Resistance Band Challenge, but you can do this routine even if you're not participating in the rest of the program.

If you're doing the challenge, follow the weekly rep scheme below. If you're doing this workout on your own, increase or decrease the reps and sets based on your fitness level. You should be able to finish all the reps with good form, but the last two should feel challenging.

Advertisement

Ideally, there will be tension on the band before you start any exercise. The exercise should then get progressively harder as you move through the range of motion until the middle of the exercise when the band — or you — feels close to the limit (but not ‌at‌ the limit).

Try This Resistance Band Chest, Triceps and Core Workout

For this workout, you'll need a long loop band or one with handles. A mini loop is optional for the last exercise. If you only have one type of band, check out the modifications below the exercise.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Start with a quick warm-up of light cardio. Aim for 2 to 5 minutes of walking in place, jumping jacks and/or dynamic stretches.

Then you'll do the two exercises in each round below back-to-back. In between rounds, rest for 30 to 45 seconds. You won't feel fully rested (like you were before your workout), but you should feel ready to tackle the next round.

Advertisement

Sets and Reps Per Exercise

Sets

Reps

Week 1

1

10

Week 2

2

10

Week 3

2

15

Week 4

3

10 to 15

Round 1

1. Supine Chest Press

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Body Part Chest
  1. Hold one end of a long loop resistance band in each hand.
  2. Bring the band behind your back and "wear" it like a vest — the top portion will be across the backs of your shoulders and the bottom will be under your armpits.
  3. Then, lie down on your back with knees bent.
  4. Bend your elbows and extend your arms out to the side so that your upper arm is parallel to the floor and your forearm is perpendicular to it.
  5. With palms turned at a 45-degree angle from your body, press your hands up and over your shoulders/chest.
  6. Lower your hands back down to the start, stopping just before your triceps touch the floor.

You can try this with a band with handles, but you may need to anchor some of the slack in the middle under your back. You can also perform a standing chest press with the middle of the band firmly anchored to a pole or other support.

2. Torso Twist

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Core
  1. Anchor the middle of a resistance band to a solid, stable object. Wrap the band around a pole, for example, then feed one end through the other to form a knot at the end.
  2. Hold the un-anchored side of the resistance band with both hands at chest level straight out in front of you.
  3. Slowly rotate your trunk and shoulders to the right side. Your feet should remain planted and your elbows should remain straight but not locked.
  4. Once you've turned 90 degrees, hold this position for a second so you're not swinging from side to side.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Do all your reps on one side before switching to the other.

This move will feel most comfortable with a band with handles: Wrap the band with the middle against a solid, stable object. Grab both handles with both hands together, straight out in the center of your chest.

Round 2

3. Standing Chest Fly

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Body Part Chest
  1. Start standing with the band wrapped around your back. Place both hands inside the band.
  2. Extend your arms out to each side in line with your chest, bending slightly at your elbows. From above, your arms would resemble a wide U shape.
  3. Maintaining a slight bend in the elbows, squeeze through your chest and bring your hands together, as if you're giving a big hug.
  4. Pause here, then return to the starting position.

If you have a band with handles, your best modification is to find somewhere study to anchor the middle of the band — like a pole or railing — then step away from the support and perform the move as described above.

4. Russian Twist

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Core
  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and lift your feet off the floor.
  2. Anchor the middle of a long band around your feet and hold the other end with both hands in the center of your chest.
  3. Elongate your spine until your body forms a 45-degree angle, creating a V shape with your torso and thighs.
  4. Maintain this position while rotating your hands from side to side.
  5. Going right and left once counts as one rep.

For a band with handles, hold both handles in one hand at the center of your chest. You can also perform this exercise without a band and/or with your heels on the floor.

Round 3

5. Standing Triceps Kickback

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Body Part Arms
  1. Anchor the middle of a long loop resistance band under your right foot. Hold the other end in your right hand. You may need to "choke up" on the band, meaning you grab a little extra slack at the end where you're holding it.
  2. Stand with your left foot in front of your right, both knees slightly bent.
  3. Tilt your torso forward at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  4. Bring your right elbow to your side so your upper arm is along the side of your body.
  5. Beginning at the elbow, slowly drive your right hand backward — past your hip — until your arm is straight. Squeeze your triceps (the back of your arm).
  6. Pull your right hand forward, bringing your hand and elbow back into starting position.
  7. Do all your reps on one side before switching to the other.

If you have a band with handles, place one end under your front foot and hold the other end just below the handle to keep tension on the band.

6. Bicycle Crunch

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Core
  1. Lie on your back and loop the resistance band around your feet with your knees bent in the air at 90 degrees and your hands interlaced behind your head.
  2. Raise your shoulders off the ground and do a crunch as you bring your left knee in toward your chest, aiming for your right elbow. Fully extend your right leg, pushing your foot against the band.
  3. Switch sides, rotating across your body and alternating the foot that presses against the band.
  4. Continue rotating side to side and alternating legs.
  5. Going right and left once counts as one rep.

No mini loop? No problem! This exercise is also effective using just your body weight.

Follow Along With the Challenge

Use the calendar below to help you stay on track with the 4-Week Resistance Band Challenge. Do the workout (or rest day) listed, then check off each day as you complete it. (Get a printer-friendly version here.)

Advertisement

Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

​‌Back to the 4-Week Resistance Band Challenge

Advertisement

Advertisement

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...