Everybody trains in the gym for different reasons, and everybody has their favorite, and least – favorite, muscle groups to train. Speaking generally however, most people enjoy chest day in the gym, and rightfully so. Training your chest is a physically demanding, yet rewarding experience, and best of all, there are so many different exercises to choose from, it is virtually impossible to get bored. Despite there being so many chest exercises to select from however, most people find themselves focusing on flat bench barbell presses. This is a great compound exercise for working the pectoral muscles, as well as your triceps, but there are still a great deal better exercises out there for maximum chest development. Here’s a look at four.
Incline cable fly
Fly’s are fantastic exercises for working the pecs, yet they are commonly performed using dumbbells, which in turn doesn’t always isolate the muscles, plus it recruits other muscle groups at the same time. When you perform incline cable fly’s, you can isolate the upper and lower pec muscles, and can recruit more muscle fibers in the process. You simply place an incline bench in the middle of a cable machine with the pulley system on the bottom settings, you grab the handles, and you perform the exercise as you would with dumbbells. To benefit, you should go with a fairly light weight, and aim for around 14 – 20 reps for 4 working sets.
Push ups are ideal for people looking to target their middle and lower pecs, as well as the triceps at the same time. They are very simple to perform, but don’t let that fool you, because as you are using your body weight for resistance, the more reps you perform, the deeper the squeeze will become in your chest, and the harder the exercise will become. To get an even deeper squeeze on the pecs, try performing push ups from an elevated position, I.E between two benches as you will be able to lower your chest down deeper.
Incline dumbbell presses
Incline dumbbell presses have actually been found to be more effective at targeting different sections of the pectoral muscles than barbells, because you recruit more stabilizer muscles to perform the exercise. To target the upper pec muscles, set a bench to an incline of around 45 degrees, go with fairly heavy weights, and rep to failure.
Decline barbell press
When people bench press it’s rare that you’ll see them decline press, and that is such a shame. Decline bench presses target your lower pecs, which are often neglected altogether, as they are so difficult to isolate. What’s more, due to the position of the bench, and the bar, it takes the shoulders out of the equation, so the majority of power that you are generating, is coming from your chest.
– Incline dumbbell press: 4 sets of 10 – 12 reps
– Incline cable fly: 4 sets of 14 – 20 reps
– Decline barbell press: 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
– Push ups: 4 sets of 15 – 20 reps, with the final set going to absolute failure