Are You Doing These Chest Muscle Exercises Correctly?
What most people fail to realize about bodybuilding is that you cannot just mindlessly lift weights and go through the motions to arrive at the strength and muscle definition you are aiming for.
In order to maximize your workouts and more or less be your own spotter most of the time, it is recommended that you equip yourself with sufficient knowledge of muscle anatomy and how different muscle groups interact with each other during positive and negative movement.
In this article, we will focus on the muscles of the chest, which are comprised of the pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor. These muscles facilitate movements that involve pulling the arm down and in towards your body and enable you to raise your arms out in front.
This particular muscle group is a bodybuilder favorite because it is one of the easiest to develop and strengthen. Beginners should be mindful of training their chest since its important to hit the pecs from different angles to form it effectively.
Novice bodybuilders can work on mastering the following three (3) fundamental chest exercises that give results fast:
Incline Dumbbell Press
- Sit on an inclined bench with a pair of dumbbells on top of your thighs, with your palms facing mid-line.
- You can use your thighs to help bring the dumbbells up to starting position, at shoulder width. Prepare to do the actual press by rotating your wrists to make your palms face forward.
- Exhale as you press the dumbbells away from you. Once at the top, lock your arms and hold the contraction for one second before lowering back to starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. Once you feel comfortable, you can progress to lifting a barbell.
Incline Dumbbell Flyes (Inner and Outer Pectorals)
- Sit on an inclined bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Be sure the bench is inclined no more than 30 degrees.
- Bring your arms straight above you and allow a slight bend at your elbows.
- Rotate your wrists to make your palms face you, with your pinky fingers right next to each other. This is your starting position.
- Inhale while maintaining full control as you gradually lower your arms while maintaining extension. The range of motion is complete when your arms are realigned with you and your palms are facing the ceiling.
- Exhale as you reverse this motion and rotate your wrists to return to starting position. Focus the movement in the shoulder joint and at the wrist. Do not move your elbow.
- Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
- Get into a prone or plank position on the floor, with your hands approximately 36 inches apart, arms fully extended.
- Inhale as you slowly lower your whole body until your chest is almost touching the ground. Your arms should form 90 degree angles.
- Exhale as you reverse the motion and bring your body back to starting position, remembering to focus on the squeeze in your chest.
- Be sure to keep your body straight from head to feet. Do not allow your hips to lift or sag.
- Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
While the chest can be one of the easiest to develop and define, it is notorious for hitting a plateau.