The Best Resistance Band Exercises To Target The Upper Chest

When it comes to great, functional and aesthetic looking chest muscles, heavy compound exercises are key. They will make sure that your pecs will grow and prosper. But sometimes certain parts of the pec muscles are lagging. Is there actually a way to target different parts? Especially the upper chest is a big problem zone for lots of people.

We have 2 great news for you! Yes you can actually place a focus on the upper chest, and you can do that effectively by using resistance bands.

We will first show how a good upper chest workout looks like. You will learn what exercises to do, how many sets and repetitions to perform and how to correctly do the exercises. After that we will have a deeper look on the anatomy of the chest muscles and discuss the effectivity of training with resistance bands.

Upper Chest Workout

To get activation in your upper chest muscles you will need to do incline chest exercises. The best exercises with resistance bands for the upper chest are:

  • Incline Chest Press (Compound exercise)
  • Feet Elevated Push-Ups (Compound exercise)
  • Low To High Chest Fly (Isolation exercise)

After looking at an effective upper chest workout we will cover these exercises in detail. Stay tuned!

Workout App

A full workout program with structured compound and isolation exercises for chest as well as your whole body you can find in our workout app. You will have a full guided training program which you can customize depending on your fitness goals.

Check out what you can expect right here: BIQ Workout App

In the Workout app included is a searchable collection of all exercises you can do with resistance bands. For each exercise there is a how-to video as well as a step-by-step explanation.

Upper Chest Workout Routine:

The following routine is only a simple routine to get your upper chest activated. It is not a full and complete push or chest workout. When working out you should have a full body focus. This would be too much to cover in one article. Make sure to check out our workout app for structured workouts for your whole body.

A simple and quick Upper Chest workout:

#1 – Compound Exercise:

Exercise: Choose between Incline Chest Press or Feet Elevated Push-Ups

  • Set 1: 20 reps
  • Set 2: 10 reps
  • Set 3: 10 reps

Rest 60-90 sec between sets.

#2 – Isolation Exercise:

Exercise: Low To High Chest Fly

  • Set 1: 20 reps
  • Set 2: 10 reps
  • Set 3: 10 reps

Rest 60-90 sec between sets.

Rep Scheme:

  1. Set: Complete 20 clean, slow and controlled reps with a moderate resistance.
  2. Set: Increase the resistance to the level that you can do 10 reps and no more.
  3. Set: Same as Set 2 – 10 reps – Give it your all!

Time under Tension (TUT):

Not only the resistance is important when working out – the total time under tension is often neglected. You will have the best results and progress when having at least 30 seconds of TUT per set. You should aim towards one minute. When aiming for 10 reps try the following method:

  • 1 sec. concentric part of the rep – extending the arm / bringing the arm in
  • ½ – 1 sec. of an isometric hold in the fully contracted phase
  • 2 sec. of eccentric movement – reversing the movement – actively working against letting the band snap back

The Best Upper Chest Exercises To Do With Resistance Bands

#1 – Incline Chest Press

Band: Medium to Heavy

Incline Chest Press Multi

The chest press is my base for upper chest work. You will be able to move the highest load with this exercise.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Fix the band by using a door anchor (height: around hip level)
  2. Get inside the loop and step forward, so you will feel some stretch in your chest and a slight force pulling you back
  3. Put your shoulder blades together and down
  4. Now push your hands forward to full extension and also bring your hands together (make sure that your arms are in alignment with the band)
  5. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hands to the starting position
  6. Repeat for reps

Detailed article on this exercise: Incline Chest Press With Resistance Bands

#2 – Elevated Push-Ups

Band: Medium to Heavy

Push up elevated

By elevating your feet you can turn the push-up into an exercise to target your upper chest. The best thing is that you can add a resistance band to the exercise and therefore combine body weight and resistance band to get the best of two worlds.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Grab the band with both hands, bring it over your head and rest it on your upper back
  2. Bring your feet in an elevated position (E.g.: Place them on a chair)
  3. In the starting position (top) place your hands underneath your shoulders or slightly further apart
  4. Lower your body by bending your elbows
  5. Stay in the bottom position for 1 count and then explode back up
  6. Repeat for reps

The push-up is a great compound exercise for your chest, shoulders and triceps. So basically for all pushing muscles in your upper body. The great thing about push-ups is that you can modify the hands position to really target your chest. Simply place your hands slightly outside your shoulders or even further apart. This will make the push-up a chest dominant exercise. 

Push Up - Chest Focus

To learn even more about the Push-Up visit the full article: Push-Ups With Resistance Bands

#3 – Chest Fly – Low Anchor Point

Band: Light to Medium

Chest Fly - low Anchor

The best isolation exercise for the upper chest. In the chest fly you will isolate the chest muscle as much as possible. Especially the triceps won’t help out anymore. By anchor the resistance band to a low point there will be also some shoulder activation.

Step-By-Step How-To:

  1. Attach the band to an anchor point (height: around floor level)
  2. Grab the band with one hand and step away from the anchor point until you feel resistance
  3. Align your shoulders with the band path
  4. Get into an upright position with straight back and head, chest up and tight core
  5. Now bring in your arm and focus on keeping your upper body straight
  6. Hold for about 1 second and then slowly return your hand to the starting position
  7. Repeat for reps

Get the form 100% correctly by reading the full article on the Chest Fly With Resistance Bands

Can You Train Your Upper Chest Effectively With Resistance Bands?

Our muscles can’t tell the difference between different types of creating resistance. All our muscles know is load which they have to work against. When you’re training with weights or machines this load is the combination of gravity with weight. When it comes to resistance bands gravity doesn’t play any part. The resistance is created by the elastic characteristic of the band. If you stretch a resistance band it wants to go back to it’s “relaxed” state and therefore there is a pull. If your muscles have to work against that pull they are activated in the same way as if they had to move a weight against gravity.

Conclusion: Yes! Our muscles are activated by working against the pull of a stretched resistance band.

To get a deeper understanding of effectivity of resistance band training – check out this article: Why Does Training With Resistance Bands Work

Benefits of Training With Resistance Bands:

So far we established that resistance band training is effective for muscles activation and stimulation but are there any other advantages? Yes! Some are:

  • No Cheating! By training with resistance bands you are really forced to use good form. You will simply not be able to use momentum and cheat your reps. This will be a good thing in the long run!
  • Joint Friendly! Resistance bands are way more gentle on your joints in comparison to training with free weights and machines.
  • Mobile! Resistance bands are small and flexible. They will fit in any bag and are very light. So you can work out anywhere – anytime!
  • Universal! You can use resistance bands to reach any fitness goal. You can build muscle, burn fat or increase strength.

To learn about even more benefits – check out the full article: Benefits Of Resistance Band Training

Upper Chest – Is that a muscle?

There is actually only one main Chest muscle: Pectoralis Major. And it is the strongest pushing muscle in your upper body. Underneath the Pec Major lies a smaller muscle called Pectoralis Minor. It is always activated together with the Pec Major. But about different regions of the chest? Upper? Lower?

Well since there is only one main Chest muscle there is no “upper” or “lower” pec muscles. These are simply different regions of the same muscles. But the pec muscles fibers have different orientations, so there is a way to have a slight focus on different regions of the pecs.Muscles Chest Upper

Upper Chest – This region has a higher activation than performing incline chest movements.

Middle Chest – The middle part of the chest is always working in any chest movement.

Lower Chest – The lower chest reaches the highest activations in any decline chest movements.

The BIQ App

Take training with resistance bands to the next level with our free app.

  • 800+ Exercises
  • all band types
  • different training goals & workouts
  • challenges
  • much more

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