Ultimate Chest Exercises
By Guest Writer Ryan Crawley
A great chest cannot be hidden by a mere t-shirt. The well-sculpted and defined chest muscles are able to be seen through thin fabric. However, the same can be said for a flat, weak chest as well. You can’t hide it. Unless you plan on wearing a thick sweater every day of the year to cover it up, it’s time to add some inches to your chest with these popular chest exercises.
Barbell Bench Press
The most celebrated chest exercise of them all. And for some strange reason, it seems most guys always do their chest day on Mondays. Good luck getting a bench right after work on a Monday evening. You have more of a chance of winning the lotto. Flat, incline, or decline, it doesn’t matter. All of them are taken.
This movement allows you to lift the most weight possible for a chest exercise. It’s an easy one to do properly, too. However, don’t cheat by arching your back or only going down halfway. Don’t sacrifice form just to get a few extra pounds added to your personal best bench press record. Besides, we all know us guys at the gym whisper to each other when we see someone with bad form on bench, no matter how much weight the person is doing.
Dumbbell Bench Press
Dumbbells make each side of your body work independently. Because of this, dumbbells are harder to control. Stabilizer muscles are firing away even more on the dumbbell bench than the barbell bench. Some swear that the dumbbell bench press is better for chest development than the barbell bench press. Some swear the complete opposite. Studies have been done by men much smarter than I, though, and both exercises show similar muscle activation.
Incline bench works the upper chest the best. Decline bench activates the lower chest muscles better. If you would like to mix it up, do the barbell flat bench press at the beginning of your workout, then at the end do the incline dumbbell bench press. A mixture of barbell and dumbbell bench presses will show you what you think works best for you.
Flyes isolate the pecs, and in the process, it enables you to get great definition. You can perform these standing, kneeling, or lying down on a bench. Great results can be achieved with dumbbells or cables. Many times, these are performed in front of a mirror. Be ready to factor in a few extra minutes in your workout for the amount of posing you will do while completing these. A nice pec pump will leave you feeling invincible.
I know what you are thinking. How can a machine make it on the list of best chest movements? I’m not really big on machines. I like compound movements that work multiple joints and involve free weights. Compound exercises can be a bit brutal, but they also add the most muscle. So then why am I recommending a machine?
The pec-deck machine comes in a few different styles. A couple I feel more than the others. The pec-deck machines I like enable me to put my forearms on the pads and squeeze them together. This causes my chest to become very full and pumped. I do not enjoy the machines where I have to grip the handles with my hands and force them together. It feels like it puts way too much strain on my shoulders.
Do the pec-deck machine at the very end of your workout. Its sole purpose is to train your chest muscles, not anything else. By this point in your workout, you will have probably used most of your strength with the heavy chest movements. This exercise will put the finishing touches on your chest session.
Do three sets on the pec-deck machine with the last one going to failure. Then stand up and high five the first person you see as you strut out of the gym.
Boy – Your chest is going to grow!!!