Form & Function
These two moves create a defined upper body with real push-up power.
Use these two chest moves to develop explosiveness and create shape.
FORM: BANDED SINGLE ARM LOW TO HIGH FLYE
No, training your chest won’t create cleavage or take you up a cup size as some workout programs would have you believe. But training your pectoralis major to be strong and shapely can define your collarbone area and add dimension to your dŽcolletage.
The pec major is the primary mover for any horizontal adduction movement, such as when you bring your arms across your body as if giving a hug, and most chest exercises target this motion — for example, presses, flyes and push-ups. However, the pec major is also responsible for shoulder flexion — raising your arm up in front of you — in conjunction with the anterior deltoid. This band exercise combines both these actions to emphasize the upper-pectoral area.
Attach one end of a resistance band to a sturdy object close to the floor. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and position yourself at an angle to the anchor so that the line of resistance is both to the side and behind you, directly opposite the motion you’ll be isolating.
Hold the band closest to the anchor with your palm facing forward, arm straight and held away from your body at hip level. This lower starting position means less emphasis on the lateral deltoid and traps, and it better engages the upper-pec area more than the middle-/ lower-pec area.
Keeping your arm straight, pull the band up (flexion) and across (horizontal adduction) your chest from hip to head level. This creates a diagonal line of motion opposite the band’s line of pull, thereby combining the two moves that target the upper pecs to give it double the work.
Because of the nature of the band, you’ll be working against the most resistance at the top. Take advantage of that force, and hold here for two counts before slowly returning to the start. This isometric squeeze can help you make that mind-muscle connection and really feel the activation of your upper pecs.
Keep your lower body as still as possible throughout the move; don’t use your legs to pop up and help move the band. If the resistance is too great, take a step toward the anchor to ease some of the tension or opt for a lighter band.
Sometimes that long muscle in your neck — the sternocleidomastoid — likes to join the party with this exercise, but since a thicker neck is probably not your goal, keep your gaze forward and avoid tucking your chin to reduce its engagement.
This move also can be altered to target the middle and lower pecs: Attach the band to a point above your head, and bring your arm across your body from high to low.