Showing posts with label pec. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pec. Show all posts

3 of the Best Pectoral Exercises That Will Help You Build a Massive Chest


Building a huge chest is one of the biggest goals for many weight lifters and aspiring bodybuilders. Unfortunately, the best, most basic pectoral exercises, such as barbell bench presses, incline presses, and decline presses do not work for some trainees. Some lifters find that these exercises don't do a good enough job of specifically working their chests, while others have problems with their shoulders and rotator cuffs that prevent them from using a barbell for pressing movements. If you are one of these trainees, you don't need to worry; here are 3 unconventional pectoral exercises that can effectively work your chest while keeping your joints safe.

Pectoral Exercises


Chest Dips

Though people most often use dips as a triceps-building exercise, I have found them to be one of the best pectoral exercises out there. Many dip stations have angled bars that allow you to grip narrow, wide, or anywhere in between. If you are looking to work mainly chest with this movement, take a moderately wide grip that doesn't hurt your shoulders. You should also try to dip down to a point at least a little bit lower than where your upper arms are parallel to the floor. You will have to experiment to find the best range of motion for yourself.

You can perform dips with just your bodyweight, but you should focus on gradually adding external resistance. Most gyms have dip / pull-up belts that you can use at no extra cost. Aim to increase your strength on a heavy set to failure of 4-8 reps each time you do this movement. You can also follow this heavy set with one of bodyweight reps to failure.

Dumbbell Floor Press

You may have heard the merits of using different types of dumbbell presses as your mainstay pectoral exercises. While they certainly can work wonders for people struggling with chest development from barbell movements, they do not allow you to use nearly as much weight. One way to solve this problem is to do floor presses with dumbbells instead of the normal flat press. Unless your arms are very short, pressing from the floor will shorten the range of motion of the press by several inches, while still providing great stimulation for your chest.

The difficult thing about this exercise is getting the dumbbells into position. The best way is to stand them upright on the floor next to where your thighs will be. Sit on the floor, and hoist the one on your non-dominant side up onto your thigh. Either get a spotter to hand you the other dumbbell, or find the best way for your body type to get it up onto your thigh. Once both dumbbells are resting on your legs, simply lay back and press. You may need to situate your upper back properly once you get the first rep up. Work your way up to two top sets of 8-10 reps.

Suspended Push-Ups

There are many devices you can use for this movement, but the basic idea is to do push-ups from an unstable set of handles. Many people use two loops of chains suspended a few inches from the ground. There are also special handles made for this exercise that you can hang from a power rack or smith machine. Suspended Push-Ups are not only one of the best "hidden" pectoral exercises, but they will improve your coordination and stability by challenging you to remain in the correct path while pressing from an unstable "surface."

You can have someone add external resistance by placing weights on your back, but I have always preferred to do this movement with just my bodyweight at the end of a training session. If you do the same, perform 2-3 sets of as many reps as you can get. When this becomes too easy, start having a spotter add a 25 or 45 pound plate to your back.



Best Chest Workouts

The Best Chest Workouts - 3 Ways to Use Barbell Movements in Your Muscle-Building Chest Workouts


Best Chest Workouts

When most people first get into weight training and bodybuilding, the first things on their mind are getting a huge chest and a strong bench press. Pressing strength and chest size have long been seen as hallmarks of a strong, muscular, and fit body. Though you may often read about the myriad of fancy chest workouts you can perform in the gym, the barbell basics are always going to give you your best results. Read on to find out how you can use these simple movements to build massive pecs in your own chest workouts.

Bench Press

In the past few years, there has been an increasingly prominent trend for trainers, gurus, and other "experts" to tell weight lifters NOT to use the bench press as a primary muscle builder in their chest workouts. They say that it's more of a triceps and front delts movement, and that trying to use the flat bench to build your chest will surely lead to damaged shoulders and torn pecs. Frankly, you should completely disregard this advice. If you ask any top bodybuilder what exercises he used to build the majority of his chest mass, the bench press will almost certainly top the list. Likewise, if you take a look at any of the top bench pressers in the powerlifting world, they will have some of the largest chests you have ever seen.

The best way to perform the bench press, both for chest building and for shoulder safety, is to keep a moderate arch in your lower back, a tightly retracted scapula and upper back, and a solid, flat foot placement on the floor. Have a spotter hand off heavy weights to you, so you can save your rotator cuffs and your energy. Keeping a tight grip on the bar, bring it to your lower pecs or upper abdominal area and press back up and slightly back towards your face. Rather than flaring your arms out like you might often see, keep them in at about a 45 degree angle. Do not be afraid to use a little bit of leg drive to keep the weight moving; the emphasis of the movement will still be heavily on your chest.

If you are putting the bench press first in your chest workouts (and you should), work up to a heavy set to failure of about 4-6 reps. If you like, follow this with a "down" set of 8-10 reps with a little bit lighter weight. Make sure you strive to increase the weights for both of these sets every time you bench press.

Incline Bench Press

After the flat bench press, the incline bench is probably the best exercise for building mass in the chest. Whereas flat and decline movements often bring the shoulders and triceps heavily into play, most people find that this exercise places the majority of the stress directly on the pecs. The incline bench also heavily stimulates the upper chest, an often hard-to-target area that can give your upper body a very thick, dense look when developed properly.

The best way to perform the incline bench press is to set the bench at a moderate angle of about 30 degrees. Rather than trying to bring the bar to your lower chest or abdomen, you should lower it in a straight path towards your clavicle. If you are putting this exercise first in your chest workouts, you should follow the previous protocol of one set of 4-6 reps followed by one set of 8-10 reps. If this exercise comes later in the routine, work up to one or two sets of 8-10 reps to failure.

Floor Press

If you have read much about powerlifting training, you may have come across descriptions of this movement. It is essentially a bench press performed lying on the floor. You lower the bar in roughly the same path as on a flat bench, stop and slightly pause when your triceps touch the floor, and press the weight back up to lockout. Though many people use this as more of a triceps exercise, you can take a moderately wide grip on the bar and stimulate your chest very well.

Some people find that they can handle more weight on the floor press than on the regular bench press. In many cases, this is due to a lack of proper technique on the actual bench, but the floor press does have the advantage of a decreased range of motion. Unless your arms are very short, you will reach the bottom of the movement when the bar is still several inches above your chest. For this reason, the floor press should be one of your go-to movements for stimulating your chest with extra weight. As far as sets and reps go, follow one of the two protocols previous outlined for chest workouts using the flat and incline bench press.