Weight Training – Chest workout
The Chest is comprised of two major muscles
– Pectoralis major
– Pectoralis minor.
Most of the exercises primarily target the Pectoralis major muscles. The commonly recommended exercises are
1) Bench Press
Lay supine on the bench, put feet fl at on the fl oor for a solid base, put buttocks on the bench and keep it there throughout the exercise.
Position yourself directly under the bar at eye level. Hold the bar with the hands approximately 10 cm outside shoulder width. Thumbs inwards and wrapped around the bar (safety measure!)
Lower barbell to the bottom part of the chest, keep shoulders contracted backwards and chest up.
Extend the elbows, press the bar over the shoulders without locking the elbows.
Variations to put emphasis on different parts of the chest can be made in the placement of the bar on the chest and the grip width.
By putting the hands closer to each other more emphasis is put on the inside of the chest and triceps, by putting the hands wider more emphasis is brought to the outerpart of the chest and the shoulders.
2) Incline Press
Lay supine on the bench with the backrest elevated in a 45-60 degree angle.
Put feet flat on the fl oor for a solid base, put buttocks on the bench and keep it there throughout the exercise.
Position theself under the bar. Hold the bar with the hands approximately 10 cm outside shoulder width (standard method).
Thumbs inwards and wrapped around the bar (safety measure!)
Lower the barbell to the upper part of the chest, keep shoulders contracted backwards and chest up.
Extend the arms.
Variations can be made in the angle of elevation but as a general measure for training the chest should not exceed 60 degrees and the grip width can be changed to either put emphasis on the inner part of the chest (close grip) or outer part (wide grip)
3) Dumbbell Press
Lay supine on the bench.
Take a dumbbell in each hand, position hands at chest level, keep the weights just outside shoulder width, thumbs inwards. Extend the arms and simultaneously bring the dumbbells closer together.
Note: this exercise is very similar to the bench press with the barbell but the dumbbells give a greater range of motion and more stretch to the chest muscles.
4) Dumbbell Flyes
Lay supine on a bench.
Take a dumbbell in each hand, position the arms straight above the chest, keep the elbows slightly bend.
Lower the arms sideways till chest level while keeping the elbows slightly bend.
Bring the dumbbells back up following the same path as they went down and squeeze the chest muscles together at the end of the movement.
Keep the head on the bench.
Note: don’t let the upper arm go below chest level in the down position as this might cause shoulder problems.
5) Dumbbell Pull over
Lay supine on a bench, Take one dumbbell in both hands.
Extend the arms above the chest. Both hands are held close to each other with the thumbs turned inwards, the weights on the end of the dumbbell resting in the palm of the hands.
Move the dumbbell backwards behind the head toward the ground by bringing the arms back and bending the elbows, move back to the starting position.
Note: this exercise works both the chest, triceps, shoulders and back muscles.
It also stretches the ribcage and lengthens the upper body promoting an athletic body.