You can’t build a great upper body without working your chest. The best exercises to engage your pectorals and build your chest are listed below. The list includes 10 exercises, but start by selecting a few to work into your New Year’s training routine.
WARM UP PUSHUPS
Simple but not always easy, pushups are a great start to a chest training routine. Mix up your pushup variations and include diamond pushups, wide hand pushups and explosive or hand clap pushups.
Once you are warmed up, try adding weight to your pushups by resting a plate on your back. Start with light weight and increase gradually.
ISOMETRIC CHEST SQUEEZE PUSH UP
Start like a regular pushup but keep your hands close together. You can use two barbells placed side by side to grip. Lower yourself down focusing on contracting the chest and hold for a three count then back up.
Sit on the bench with dumbbells placed on your thighs. Lift weights to your shoulder as you lie on the bench. With elbows to sides press dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended. Lower the weights to your chest, feeling a slight stretch through the muscle.
INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
Similar to the above process using an incline bench press. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder width and hold the weights so that your palms are facing away from you. This will be your starting position. Press dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended breathing out through the lift. Bring down slowly. Repeat.
BARBELL INCLINE BENCH PRESS
Lay on the bench. Place your feet flat on the ground. Take a medium grip a little more than shoulder width apart. Remove the bar and hold the bar above your chest with your arms extended. Lower down to your chest. Arch your back, retract your shoulder blades and drive through with the hips during your lift.
STANDING CABLE CHEST FLY
Grab the two pulley handles from either side of the fly machine. Stand with the pulleys to your sides. Bend over slightly. Bring cables together in a hug-type motion, keeping your elbows in a fixed position.
DIPS (WEIGHTED OR UNWEIGHTED)
Find yourself a dip station and grab the handles. While bending slightly at the waist, lower yourself down slowly and back up. Keep your legs bent. Add weight to a belt to increase the resistance.
MEDICINE BALL THROWS
Get exercise while getting out the aggression. Start standing next to a wall with your legs about shoulder width apart. Squat down and lift the ball. Keep your abs locked, slowly rotate your torso away from the wall than quickly reverse direction firing the ball against the wall. You can catch it on the rebound or pick it up off the floor and start again.
PEC DECK FLY
Sit on the pec deck with your back on the pad. If there is a foot lever, push it so the lever moves forward. Place your forearms on the padded levers. Hold the levers in place while flexing your chest muscles. Release the foot lever. Push the levers together in a smooth, even motion concentrating on the flex through the pectoral muscles. Keep control as you slowly bring your arms back to the starting positon.
All readers are advised to consult their physician before beginning any exercise and nutrition program. BPI Sports and the contributors do not accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content.