Tip: Build Your Chest With Bands & Iron

This is really going to hurt, but you'll love the results you'll get in chest and triceps growth. Try these two exercises.

Tags ,

The barbell bench press has its place, but dumbbell benching has a few advantages over the bar. Bench pressing with dumbbells allows you to work stabilizer muscles that are ignored by benching with a bar. It also gives you a great opportunity to really work the pecs hard at the top of each and every rep with certain variations. Want to really ramp up the dumbbell bench press? Add bands.

Band-Resisted Bench Press

Use this one to bust through a strength plateau. Your triceps and chest will experience tremendous force as the tension on the band increases with every inch you drive the weights up.

Band-Resisted Bench Press, Bands Anchored

In the regular dumbbell bench press, the pec major acts against the weight to adduct the humerus (brings it closer) to the midline. The load acts vertically across the system (intermuscular coordination) of the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

In this variation we add a force vector to the system that acts diagonally, driving the arms and dumbbells laterally away from the midline. As you can imagine, it'll force you to fight just to keep the dumbbells on their intended vertical path, which creates an insane muscular contraction, particularly when you push the dumbbells together at the peak of the movement.

Michael Warren won the UK Personal Trainer of the Year award (2014). He is the owner of Michael Warren Performance Education, and has trained a number of professional athletes and teams. Follow Michael Warren on Twitter