Chest Expander Workouts

by Patrick Dale

About Patrick Dale

Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.


Chest expanders consist of short lengths of rubber exercise tubing or metal springs secured between two handles. Portable and relatively cheap, they provide a lightweight workout tool. Chest expanders are versatile, allowing you to perform a wide range of exercises in minimal space.

Two-Handed Chest Pull

The two-handed chest pull targets your upper back and rear shoulder muscles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended in front of you. Position your hands on the chest expander handles so that your palms are facing inwards. Keeping your arms parallel to the floor and your elbows slightly bent, pull your arms outwards until the chest expander strands are touching your chest. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. This exercise can also be performed in a bent-over position for variation.

Overhead Downward Pull

To strengthen your latisimus dorsi muscles in your back and your lower trapezius muscles below your shoulder blades, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides. With a handle in each hand, raise your arms above your head and position your hands so that they are facing outwards. Keeping your arms straight, pull your arms out and down until your arms are parallel to the floor and the cables are running behind your neck. Slowly raise your arms above your head and repeat. This exercise provides a good home alternative to the lat pull-down machine at the gym.

One-Arm Biceps Curl

The one-arm biceps curl will develop the biceps muscles at the front of your upper arm. Place one handle under your left foot and hold the other in your left hand. Keeping your elbow tucked into your side, bend your elbow and raise your hand to shoulder level. Pause in the most contracted position for a second before slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then change sides.

One-Arm Military Press

To strengthen your shoulders and triceps, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the chest expander handles in your hands. Place your left hand next to your hip and your right hand at shoulder level so that the cables run across your body diagonally. Keeping your left hand in place, extend your right arm and press it overhead. Slowly return your right hand to shoulder level and repeat. On completion of your set, swap hands and repeat.

Two-Hands Lateral Raise

This exercise will develop your shoulders, especially the lateral or side area. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. With a handle in each hand, position your hands so that they are facing inwards and your arms are in front of your hips. With your arms straight, lift your arms upwards and outwards until your hands are shoulder level. Return to the starting position and repeat.

  • Forgotten Secrets Of The Old Time Strongmen; Dave Yarnell
  • A New System of Calisthenic Exercises For The Patent Elastic Chest Expander; Henry Cost
  • The Body Sculpting Bible Express for Men; Villepique et al.

Photo Credits:

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or