Health and Fitness

This Cable Chest Workout Will Smoke Your Pecs, Shoulders, and Triceps—And You Can Do It Anywhere

When you consider strengthening your chest, free weights like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells in all probability come to thoughts. But a cable chest exercise is an effective-yet-underrated solution to smoke your higher half, and is usually a welcome addition to your upper-body energy coaching program together with these pec dumbbell exercises or kettlebell circuits you might have already got slotted in.

Cable exercises are nice routines so as to add to the combination as a result of cables hold your muscle groups underneath fixed rigidity, versus free weights which give your muscle groups breaks from rigidity at sure elements of the strikes, ACE-certified private coach Sivan Fagan, proprietor of Strong With Sivan in Baltimore, tells SELF. Cables additionally restrict momentum in your actions, which might translate to higher calls for in your muscle groups, she explains.

But chances are high you don’t have a cable machine arrange at dwelling, that means you’d need to go to the health club to get in a great cable chest exercise. That’s the place resistance bands are available in: Resistance bands work your muscle groups very equally to how cables do, and you may mimic a cable set-up by fixing the resistance bands to an anchor level. Once you do that, you should use resistance bands to focus on your chest muscle groups (which embody the 2 pectoral muscle groups: the larger pec main and smaller pec minor), in addition to your triceps and the entrance of your shoulders, identical to a cable exercise would.

Another plus of resistance bands: They are transportable and versatile, making them a invaluable device for at-home coaching.

“I utilize bands many, many times with my clients, especially because most of my clients don’t go to a gym anymore,” says Fagan.

What are the advantages of energy coaching your chest?

You use your chest muscle groups in a lot of on a regular basis life situations: Pretty a lot anytime you carry out a pushing movement—for instance, steering a full cart of groceries or heaving a field again onto a shelf—your chest muscle groups are at work. And the stronger this muscle group is, the better and extra environment friendly your day-to-day actions will really feel. Plus, you additionally use your pectoral, shoulder, and triceps muscle groups in a lot of completely different pushing strikes while you energy practice, like push-ups, chest presses, and overhead presses. (That’s why many full chest exercises typically embody triceps and shoulder workouts too, since these muscle groups help in lots of chest-centric workouts.)

In normal, it’s essential to have steadiness between these pushing muscle groups and your pulling muscle groups (your again and biceps), as this will contribute to good posture and shoulder well being, says Fagan. And incorporating a cable chest exercise into your routine—whether or not it’s a circuit-style higher chest cable exercise, a cable routine paired with push-ups for decrease chest, or a collection of traditional cable strikes just like the cable crossover—will be one solution to present your frontside higher physique muscle groups the love they deserve. Just just remember to’re equally targeted on these posterior pulling muscle groups on the opposite days you’re employed out!

How are you able to get in a great cable chest exercise at dwelling with resistance bands?

Like we talked about, you do not want an precise cable to reap the advantages of a cable exercise—you may merely affix a resistance band to an anchor level at dwelling and obtain related outcomes. Resistance bands work equally to cables as a result of they assist hold your muscle groups underneath fixed rigidity and scale back momentum in your actions. In the beneath chest exercise that Fagan created for SELF, we present precisely how you are able to do traditional cable strikes with a resistance band as an alternative.

Before we get into the at-home chest exercise particulars, there are just a few normal suggestions you need to be conscious of as a way to take advantage of your resistance band chest exercise. First, ensure you at all times really feel rigidity within the band; this ensures your muscle groups are getting challenged to the max. Second, deal with good type, says Fagan. Compared to a health club exercise, the place machines can considerably assist you get into correct positioning, there’s extra room for error with resistance band-only strikes, so pay shut consideration to your type and ensure it’s on level.

Lastly, don’t fret an excessive amount of concerning the peak of the anchor level, whether or not it’s above, beneath, or precisely in keeping with your physique, explains Fagan. For any particular transfer, you’ll nonetheless work the identical muscle teams irrespective of the peak of the anchor; it’s simply there shall be slight variations through which muscle fibers are focused, explains Fagan. For occasion, a excessive anchor level for chest flies (just like a excessive cable fly) will goal the higher fibers of the pec main, whereas a low anchor level will goal the decrease fibers of the pec main. These variations are small, and what’s most essential is that you just discover an anchor level that’s sturdy and safe. (Here’s extra data on establishing an anchor level.)

Now, onto the particular exercise. Fagan suggests doing this three-move routine–which targets your entire chest muscle groups, in addition to your shoulders, triceps, and core—twice every week. You’ll start with an AMRAP set, the place you’ll problem your chest muscle groups with as many reps as potential with the push-up, after which go right into a banded superset to hone in even additional in your chest whereas giving your triceps some consideration, too. You can do that routine as a finisher after one other energy exercise, like one which targets your legs or again, as an example. Or, you may carry out it earlier than or after cardio.

However you fit this exercise into your routine, ensure to warm-up first. (This is a nice upper-body warm-up you may attempt, whether or not you’re getting ready for this cable chest exercise or a total-body energy exercise.) Then, when you begin the routine, ensure to deal with type and good mind-muscle connection. If you don’t really feel your muscle groups working as you carry out reps, gently faucet them; this will help activate them, Fagan explains.

Ready to significantly strengthen your higher physique at dwelling with resistance bands? Keep scrolling for a tremendous, three-move routine that you just’ll wish to add to your arsenal of fine chest exercises.

The Workout

What you want: A resistance band. The proper stage of resistance will rely in your health stage and different elements, however as a normal leaping off level, Fagan suggests beginning with a medium energy band. (Here’s extra on how to decide on the very best resistance bands—and a few nice choices to attempt.)




  • Chest fly
  • Triceps extension


  • Start with the AMRAP set, which stands for “as many reps as possible.” Do as many push-ups as you may with good type. Rest 1-2 minutes, then repeat. Complete 3 rounds whole.
  • Then transfer onto the superset. Do every transfer for 10-15 reps with out resting in between strikes. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat. Complete 2 rounds whole.

Demoing the strikes beneath are Francine Delgado-Lugo (GIF 1), cofounder of FORM Fitness Brooklyn; Rosimer Suarez (GIF 2), a particular schooling instructor from New York City; and Nicole Figueroa, a NASM-certified private coach and on-line health coach.


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