Chest - Bench PressThe Bench Press is rightly the king of all chest exercises and is a very good indicator of upper body strength, hence the countless “How much do you bench?” questions. Not only is it a good indicator of strength, it also works many other upper body muscles such as the shoulders and the triceps, hence it being a compound chest movement. I’m fairly sure if you’ve been to the gym you’ve done the bench press and if not you must have seen it. Lie on a flat bench with a barbell on a rack. Your grip should be slightly wider than shoulder width on the barbell. Raise the barbell off the rack and slowly lower it to your chest. A good alignment would be that the bar is above your nipples. Lower the bar to your chest MAKING SURE you touch your chest – half a rep is as good as not doing the rep. Press the bar back up from your chest to the starting position.
Chest – Dumbbell FlyThe Dumbbell fly is often overlooked for the cable fly. There is nothing wrong at all using cables, but dumbbells have the advantage in that your muscle fibres are under constant tension whereas using a cable there can be points where your muscles get a bit of a rest. Dumbbell Fly is an isolation exercise so will work only the chest and it great for forming the great looking definition between your pecs. To perform this exercise, lie on a bench with two dumbbells, one in each hand. Raise the dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing each other so the dumbbells are touching. Ensure there is a slight bend in your arm as not to stretch the bicep and lower your arms outwards sideways so they end up parallel to the floor. Raise your arms back up to the starting position slowly.
Chest – Incline Dumbbell PressIncline Dumbbell press works the upper part of your chest, the clavicular pectoralis. This part is often lacking in many bodybuilders but is necessary for a full looking round chest. You should be using a bench that is on an incline of no more than 45 degrees, as any higher and more emphasis is placed on your shoulders and not enough on your chest. To perform this exercise, use a bench on an incline. Lift dumbbells in each hand, similar to the dumbbell fly, but with your palms facing away from your face and the sides of the dumbbells touching. Lower the dumbbells to your chest such that your elbows end up below your body. Press them back up to starting position.
Chest – DipsDips are also a very underused exercise. It is also a compound exercise working your chest, triceps and shoulders. The way of doing dips while targeting your chest more effectively is to lean forward in your dip. To perform the dip, grasp two parallel bars that are approximately shoulder-width apart. The initial position is when your arms are fully extended and are supporting your whole body ie you aren’t leaning on anything. Slowly lower yourself to a position where your elbows are bent and your upper arm and lower arm are at a 90 degree angle. Finally, use your arms to push yourself upwards to the start position. Make sure you lean forward to emphasise the chest.
Chest – Decline Bench PressYou also need to work your lower chest to achieve the full rounded chest pec look. Doing decline presses work that part of your body and take a lot of emphasis off of your shoulders so your chest gets hammered more. Lie on a decline bench, or change the angle of a flat bench so it is decline. Grasp the barbell at slightly wider than your shoulders and lift the barbell off the rack. Lower the bar ensuring that it touches your nipples or that general area. Press the barbell up contracting your chest to engage as many muscle fibres as possible. So there you have it, these are 5 great exercises that will hit the whole of your chest. Put these into your next workout to see some good strength and muscle gains. Remember to take your dose of protein after the workout, to help feed your chest to become huge!