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A bending bar made of rubber or steel can build pectoral strength.
Marili Forastieri/Digital Vision/Getty Images
A bending bar exercises your chest muscles as well as your arms, shoulders and wrists. A small, portable piece of exercise equipment, it can be used at the home, office or gym. Made of steel or rubber, bending bars have handles with a flexible resistance spring in the center. Do all bending bar exercises one after the other for a full workout, or individually if you have limited time.
Squeeze and Bend Downward
One of the most common exercises with the bending bar, the bend-down flex strengthens your chest muscles. Standing with the bending bar in front of you with your arms fully extended, hold one end of the bar in each hand, palms facing down. Breathing out and rotating at your wrists, push the two handles down so that they are going toward each other; your elbows will bend slightly. At the bottom of the push, hold the position for two or three counts before returning to starting position. Do eight to 12 repetitions for three sets. This exercise works your biceps and your pectoral muscles.
Turn it Upward
The upward bend flex also works out your chest and bicep muscles, but it's harder to perform as it also makes use of your triceps. Standing with the bending bar in front of you, hold the ends or handles with an underhand grip. Turning at your wrists, bend the bar upward as high as you can, holding the final position for two to five counts. Your elbows will bend slightly as you push upward. Slowly return back to starting position and repeat eight to 12 times for three sets.
Add Variety with a Cable
This bending bar exercise uses the same muscles as the cable pull-down, working both your latissimus dorsi and your pectorals. Holding one end of the bar in each hand with a sideways overhand grip, fully extend your arms so they are above your head. Turning your wrists, bend the bar so that your hands come together. Your elbows will bend slightly as you do this exercise. Slowly return to starting position and repeat eight to 12 times for three sets.
Try to Fly
Similar to a chest fly, the overhead fly works your pectoral muscles. Standing with a backward underhand grip, raise the bar so it is over your head. Bend your elbows so your hands and the bar are behind your head. Push the ends of the bar inward, moving your hands towards each other and letting your elbows move out to the side. Hold for two counts before relaxing and moving your hands apart. Repeat eight to 12 times for three sets.