Performing an incline chest press with resistance bands attached is definitely a more advanced exercise. You may already know that the incline chest press is a great way to focus more attention on the upper pecs. Technically speaking the incline bench press targets the clavicular head of the pectoralis major which is basically referred to as “the upper pecs.” Adding this exercise to your best chest workout may help you gain the muscle mass you’re looking for, or to push you past the plateau!
By adding resistance bands to your chest press you’re actually increasing the speed and acceleration of the movement. You’re training the muscle differently, rather than just adding more weight. The weight or force pushing against you (or that you’re pushing against) is radically different at the top of the movement versus the bottom of the movement. The bands are quite literally pulling you down. The key to this particular exercise is tot is to return the weight to the “top” or starting position with explosive force and as fast as possible.
If you’re adding resistance bands to your workout, be cautious not to overdue it. Those who first begin working with the addition of resistance bands to their workout can actually experience excessive soreness due to the larger amount of eccentric overloading that’s occurring. The eccentric part of movement refers to the lowering phase. Because the resistance bands are attached, they’re creating a greater force.
Here’s some tips for proper form:
1. Attach the resistance bands to the bar and stabilize or ground them so they don’t move. In the video you can see that I have the bands tied to the base of the bench and then around the top of the bar.
2. As always, keep your abs tight and perform the exercise just as you would a standard incline bench press.
3. Control the movement and take control of the weight, don’t let it control you! When the weight is lowered to the chest, press it back up with force and speed. Remember, you’re working against the weight as well as the force the resistance bands are providing. Do not bounce the weight or use any jerking motions.
I want to reiterate that this is not an exercise for a novice in the weight room. After you’re mastered the incline press without the bands, practice reducing your weights and performing the same exercise with the bands attached. Once you feel comfortable with the movement, focus on making your workout more challenging.
About Corey White
Corey White is a Personal Trainer in Los Angeles as well as an elite Professional Track and Field athlete. He is NASM and NCSF Certified, and specializes in Strength Training, Balance and Coordination, and Creative and Dynamic Circuit Training. Contact Corey for additional information or to schedule a private consultation.