Chest exercise is especially important for building your physique 

Chest exercise is essential to a great body. If you are developing your chest as a bodybuilder's effort - to compete on stage, please see this side note about chest development. Also before jumping into chest exercises (see below), see this page on training the chest

Arnold doing flat barbell bench pressesBarbell Flat Bench Presses

Purpose: To build mass and strength in the pectorals, front delts, and triceps. The Bench Press is a fundamental compound exercise for the upper body. It produces growth, strength, and muscle density, not only for the chest muscles but for the front deltoids and triceps as well. 

Execution: 1) Lie on a flat bench, your feet on the floor for balance. Your grip should be medium-wide (which means that as you lower the bar to your chest, your hands should be wide enough apart so that your forearms point straight up, perpendicular to the floor). Lift the bar off the rack and hold it at arm's length above you. 2) Lower the bar slowly and under control until it touches just below the pectoral muscles. Keep the elbows pointed outward in order to fully involve the chest. The bar should come to a complete stop at this point. Press the bar upward once more until your arms are fully locked out. Always go through a full range of motion unless instructed specifically to do otherwise. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger doing incline bench presses at venice beachBarbell Incline Bench Presses

Purpose: To develop the mass and strength of the pectoral muscles (middle and upper regions) and front deltoids. Changing the angle of the movement so you are pressing at an incline tends to put extra stress on the upper chest muscles and make the deltoids work harder. But you will find you can't lift as much weight as you can when doing a Flat Bench Press. 

Execution: 1) Lie back on an incline bench. Reach up and grasp the bar with a medium-wide grip. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it straight up overhead, arms locked. 2) Lower the weight down to the upper chest, stop for a moment, then press it back up to the starting position. When working at an incline, it is extremely important to find the right "groove" or you are likely to find the bar drifting too far forward. It is useful to have a training partner to spot you while you are getting used to this movement. 

Chest exercise - Dumbbells

Schwarzenegger doing dumbbell bench pressesDumbbell Flat Bench Presses

Purpose of this chest exercise: To develop the mass and strength of the middle and outer pectoral muscles. By using dumbbells rather than barbells, you can work the chest muscles through a greater range of motion, and the need to balance and coordinate two separate weights forces stabilizer muscles to assist as well. 

Execution: 1) Lie on a flat bench, knees bent, feet flat on the bench or floor. Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold the weights straight up overhead. Turn the dumbbells so that your palms face forward. 2) Lower the weights towards your outer chest, concentrating on keeping them fully balanced and under control. Lower them as far as you can, feeling a complete stretch in the pectoral muscles. Press the weights back up and lock your arms straight overhead. 

Bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman Doing Dumbbell Incline PressesIncline Dumbbell Presses

Purpose of this chest exercise: To develop the middle and upper pectoral muscles. You can vary the angle of the incline bench from almost flat to almost upright; the more upright the bench, the more you work the delts. 

Execution: 1) Take a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on an incline bench. Clean the dumbbells and hold them at shoulder height, palms facing forward. 2) Lift them simultaneously straight up overhead, then lower them back to the starting position. As a variation, you can begin with palms facing each other and twist your wrists as you lift so that the palms face forward at the top, then twist them bak to the starting position as you lower the dumbbells. You can vary the angle at which you train from workout to workout, or from set to set in the same workout. If you do the latter, begin at a steep incline and work downward toward a flatter angle or increase the angle set to set. 

Page 2 of chest exercises

› Chest Exercise
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