Chest is most people’s favourite muscle group to train in the gym. Stereotypically it is the main muscle people focus on when referring to the gym. It’s either that or arms. We all know the first phrase people ask you when you tell them you go to the gym ‘What do you bench?’. So we thought it would be useful to give you the run down of our top 5 exercise to help take your chest to the next level.
5. Cable flys
Cables are a great and useful tool for providing resistance to muscles without the instability that free weights can sometimes give. This makes them especially good for beginners and help to create a good technique without the fear of dropping any weights and severely injuring yourself. Don’t get us wrong, you can still hurt yourself but its not so easy.
Cable flys can be used in a couple variations. We have the high cable flys. This is where the cables are set at a high position and brought downwards to meet your hands at a lower position. This will help to really work your lower chest. Then what we have nicknamed the ‘Bottoms Ups’. This is where the cables are set at a low position and your hands are brought up to meet just above the midline of your chest. This then helps to work your upper chest. We give it this name as it is like bringing up your favourite drink for a big gulp. Albeit an extremely heavy version of your chosen beverage.
4. Around the worlds
You may be more unfamiliar with this one. Set your bench up at a slight incline, although many will go for a flat bench. However we find incline suits this much better.
Then grab some light dumbbells so you can judge the difficulty and get the form. Hold the dumbbells so they are above your head but in line with your shoulder joint and maintain a slight bend in your elbow. Then bring the dumbbells around and down in a big circle till they meet at the bottom of the circle. Here you should squeeze you chest. Then return to the starting position. You can increase the difficulty by returning to the start position by retracing the route of the circle and slowly going back that way.
This may be for when you master the exercise however. The focus in the exercise is bringing it slowly down and really controlling the movement to build up that strength in your chest whilst it also works your shoulders slightly too.
3. Decline dumbbell press
This one is a bit different too. Often commercial gyms won’t have a decline bench with rack for a barbell attached. So it can be necessary to improvise with the sit up bench and some dumbbells. This is fairly basic in terms of form as your just make sure to press up the weight with your chest as the focus. This will help to really target your lower chest and contributing to your overall aesthetic.
2. Incline press
Again this is fairly self explanatory in terms of form but is unignorably brilliant. Put your bench at a slight incline and grabs some dumbbells. We find you can normally incline press something slightly below what your flat press numbers are at.
This again allows you to develop your overall chest by adding in a strong upper chest. This will help to create that shelf like feature just below your collarbones.
1. Flat bench press
The crème de la crème when it comes to chest exercises so it was unavoidable in being number 1 on our list. This will help to use all of your chest and will often be the barometer of your gym success. (Although don’t allow it to be). Having a weak chest doesn’t mean you are a failure in the gym.
But it can be something to work on!
This is a premium exercise in our eyes and we have created the Quick Fire Guide to help you master the move!
What’s your favourite chest exercise? Did we miss yours?
Let us know in the comments below!