Lee Walker Personal Training
Lee Walker Personal Training

Pectorals / Chest

 

Exercises for the chest are designed to sculpt, lift and tone the upper torso region whilst increasing or maintaining the largest upper body pushing muscles.

 

 

 

Incline Dumbell Press

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedChest

Other MusclesShouldersTriceps

Equipment: Dumbbell

Mechanics Type: Compound

LevelBeginner

SportNo

ForcePush

 

  1. Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand atop your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
  2. Then, using your thighs to help push the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder width.
  3. Once you have the dumbbells raised to shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position.
  4. Be sure to keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Then breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest.
  5. Lock your arms at the top, hold for a second, and then start slowly lowering the weight. Tip Ideally, lowering the weights should take about twice as long as raising them.
  6. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  7. When you are done, place the dumbbells back on your thighs and then on the floor. This is the safest manner to release the dumbbells.

Variations: You can use several angles on the incline bench if the bench you are using is adjustable.

Another variation of this exercise is to perform it with the palms of the hands facing each other.

Also, you can perform the exercise with the palms facing each other and then twisting the wrist as you lift the dumbbells so that at the top of the movement the palms are facing away from the body. I personally do not use this variation very often as it seems to be hard on my shoulders.

 

Incline Dumbell Flyes

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle WorkedChest

Other Muscles: Shoulders

Equipment: Dumbbell

Mechanics TypeCompound

LevelBeginner

SportNo

ForcePush

 

  1. Hold a dumbbell on each hand and lie on an incline bench that is set to an incline angle of no more than 30 degrees.
  2. Extend your arms above you with a slight bend at the elbows.
  3. Now rotate the wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing you.Tip: The pinky fingers should be next to each other. This will be your starting position.
  4. As you breathe in, start to slowly lower the arms to the side while keeping the arms extended and while rotating the wrists until the palms of the hand are facing each other. Tip: At the end of the movement the arms will be by your side with the palms facing the ceiling.
  5. As you exhale start to bring the dumbbells back up to the starting position by reversing the motion and rotating the hands so that the pinky fingers are next to each other again. Tip: Keep in mind that the movement will only happen at the shoulder joint and at the wrist. There is no motion that happens at the elbow joint.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can perform regular flyes and also twisting flyes where your initial position starts with the thumbs facing each other instead of the pinky.

 

Low Cable Crossover

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedChest

Other Muscles: Shoulder

Equipment: Cable

Mechanics TypeIsolation

Level: Beginner

Sport: No

ForcePush

 

  1. To move into the starting position, place the pulleys at the low position, select the resistance to be used and grasp a handle in each hand.
  2. Step forward, gaining tension in the pulleys. Your palms should be facing forward, hands below the waist, and your arms straight. This will be your starting position.
  3. With a slight bend in your arms, draw your hands upward and toward the midline of your body. Your hands should come together in front of your chest, palms facing up.
  4. Return your arms back to the starting position after a brief pause.

 

Push Ups - Close & Wide Hands

 

Start position

Finish Position

 

TypeStrength

Main Muscle WorkedChest

Other MusclesShouldersTriceps

EquipmentBody Only

Mechanics TypeCompound

LevelBeginner

Sport: No

Force: Push

 

  1. Lie on the floor face down and body straight with your toes on the floor and the hands wider than shoulder width for a wide hand position and closer than shoulder width for a close hand position. Make sure you are holding your torso up at arms length.
  2. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.
  3. Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  4. After a second pause at the contracted position, repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Variations:

  • If you are new at this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, you can either bend your legs at the knees to take off resistance or perform the exercise against the wall instead of the floor.
  • For the most advanced lifters, you can place your feet at a high surface such as a bench in order to increase the resistance and to target the upper chest more.

 

Decline Dumbell Bench Press

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Chest

Other Muscles: ShouldersTriceps

EquipmentBarbell

Mechanics Type: Compound

Level: Beginner

Sport: No

Force: Push

 

  1. Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and lie down with a dumbbell on each hand on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
  2. Once you are laying down, move the dumbbells in front of you at shoulder width.
  3. Once at shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position.
  4. Bring down the weights slowly to your side as you breathe out. Keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Tip: Throughout the motion, the forearms should always be perpendicular to the floor.
  5. As you breathe out, push the dumbbells up using your pectoral muscles. Lock your arms in the contracted position, squeeze your chest, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly. Tip: It should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up..
  6. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions of your training program.

Caution: When you are done, do not drop the dumbbells next to you as this is dangerous to your rotator cuff in your shoulders and others working out around you.

If using really heavy weights, it is best if a partner gives them to you as you lay down.

Variations: You can use an exercise band or a barbell to perform this exercise.

Similar to the Dumbbell Bench Press but on a decline bench. This works more of the lower chest.

 

Bodyweight Flyes

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles: Abdominals, Shoulders, Triceps
Equipment: E-Z Curl Bar
Mechanics Type: Isolation
Level: Intermediate
Sport: No
Force: Push

 

  1. Position two equally loaded EZ bars on the ground next to each other. Ensure they are able to roll.
  2. Assume a push-up position over the bars, supporting your weight on your toes and hands with your arms extended and body straight.
  3. Place your hands on the bars. This will be your starting position.
  4. Using a slow and controlled motion, move your hands away from the midline of your body, rolling the bars apart. Inhale during this portion of the motion.
  5. After moving the bars as far apart as you can, return to the starting position by pulling them back together. Exhale as you perform this movement.

 

Bent Arm Pullover

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles: Lats, Shoulders, Triceps
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound
Level: Intermediate
Sport: No
Force: Push

 

  1. Place a dumbbell standing up on a flat bench.
  2. Ensuring that the dumbbell stays securely placed at the top of the bench, lie perpendicular to the bench (torso across it as in forming a cross) with only your shoulders lying on the surface. Hips should be below the bench and legs bent with feet firmly on the floor. The head will be off the bench as well.
  3. Grasp the dumbbell with both hands and hold it straight over your chest with a bend in your arms. Both palms should be pressing against the underside one of the sides of the dumbbell. This will be your starting position. Caution: Always ensure that the dumbbell used for this exercise is secure. Using a dumbbell with loose plates can result in the dumbbell falling apart and falling on your face.
  4. While keeping your arms locked in the bent arm position, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
  5. At that point, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position using the arc through which the weight was lowered and exhale as you perform this movement.
  6. Hold the weight on the initial position for a second and repeat the motion for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Caution: If you are new to this movement, have a spotter hand you the weight instead. If not, please ensure that the dumbbell does not fall on you as you arrange your torso to perform the exercise on the bench.

Also, as I already mentioned, ensure that the dumbbell used is in perfect working condition. Old dumbbells in need of welding should never be used to perform this exercise.

Variations:

  • You can perform this exercise using a barbell or an e-z bar instead of dumbbells.
  • Also, if using dumbbells like Powerblocks™, just use a dumbbell on each hand with the palms of your hands facing each other.

 

Clock Push Up

 

Start Position

Finish Position

 

Type: Strength
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps
Equipment: Body Only
Mechanics Type: Compound
Level: Intermediate
Sport: No
Force: Push

 

  1. Move into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your hands and toes.
  2. Your arms should be fully extended with the hands around shoulder width. Keep your body straight throughout the movement. This will be your starting position.
  3. Descend by flexing at the elbow, lowering your chest toward the ground.
  4. At the bottom, reverse the motion by pushing yourself up through elbow extension as quickly as possible until you are air borne. Aim to “jump” 12-18 inches to one side.
  5. As you accelerate up, move your outside foot away from your direction of travel. Leaving the ground, shift your body about 30 degrees for the next repetition.
  6. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise, working all the way around until you are back where you started.

 

For additional training ideas and guidance, why not checkout the man vs weight website or facebook page of the same name. Heres a link to a tricep workout that will compliment your chest session 

http://www.manvsweight.com/bodyweight-triceps-exercises/

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