For many lifters, Chest Day is a Monday ritual. For others, it’s important to create the right mix of upper body strength, hypertrophy, mobility and pec definition.
But… Which of the exercises we do for the chest works best? Usually, when we think of chest-heavy exercises, most people’s mind goes to the bench press. But there are many options besides this old-school classic, most of which fall into two categories, the press and lat pulldown, which will allow you to hit all right angles and give you a solid chest and chest contraction.
Here, Director of Fitness Ebenezer Samuel and celebrity trainer and MH Advisory Board member Don Saladino break down their top five moves to incorporate into your chest workout.
5 chest exercises you must do
1- Press into the machine
Considered a last resort for training day, chest machines have improved dramatically over the years (especially the Hammer Strength Incline Press Machine). Samuel and Saladino say the machine press is a great addition to your ab workout, especially if the rest of your training focuses on free weights and “functional” movements.
What makes a machine press profitable? One reason, according to Saladino, is that the machine’s steady motion allows you to push heavy loads beyond your limits, creating a safe workout during those exhausting supersets. Machines are also a better and safer option to incorporate rest-pause sets.
2- Alternate Incline Press with Dumbbells
Sometimes this exercise can seem too easy for the first few reps and you forget how effective it can be, until you’ve built up time to strain to create a great chest challenge. Unlike the traditional incline dumbbell press, in which both hands move simultaneously, the staggered motion of this variation allows you to double the tension time on each set. If building muscle is your goal, this exercise is perfect.
3- winch cross
There’s really no right or wrong way to do this exercise: high cable, low cable, medium height — each cable variation targets a whole set of different muscle fibers. Samuels Pro Tip: Look down at your chest to see how it contracts.
This isolation movement allows you to maintain a constant tension throughout your range of motion. Cables are a more comfortable and joint-friendly alternative to the traditional dumbbell fly, which can be tough on your shoulders.
Probably the most basic and universal exercise for the chest is the movement that is often done incorrectly. Think of push-ups like a plank in motion: Your glutes are squeezed, lats engaged to create as much tension as possible throughout your body while rotating your arms outward. A recoil should be viewed as a fluid pressure movement. After you’ve done one full rep, make sure you don’t dial in and drop your hips. Push-ups: how to do them well and the benefits for your muscles.
5- Dumbbell Bench Press
The most effective of all exercises, according to Samuel and Saladin, is the classic chest staple. What makes the dumbbell press more effective than the barbell variation for most athletes in general is that you can focus on unique aspects of your anatomy, making it a great way to lift more weight without compromising your shoulder protection. becomes a safer option. You also don’t have to worry about the fixed position of your hands, and since your goal is to build muscle, not lose weight, you can fail more safely on one rep. However, according to Saladino, keep your feet flat on the ground when you do this if your end goal is to build pectoral muscles. Even though you may think you are activating your core, instead you are creating instability that will only limit your goals. Correct technique of bench press chest.
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