Most people train their chest frequently and take it seriously. Muscle stimulation in new and different ways is essential for promoting growth, increasing strength, and reaching your goals. If you’ve been doing the same chest exercises for a long time, it’s time to switch things up. This week, try incorporating some of our top 5 best chest exercises for athletes into your workouts.
Barbell Bench Press
The traditional barbell bench press can be an excellent way to build strength and muscle in your chest. There are numerous variations to try, such as the pin press, paused reps, band resisted, lifting chains, or even putting on our slingshot and going to town!
Most gyms have a spotting platform for competitive bench presses, and they are always on hand to be a spotter if you’re going heavy or just want some extra reassurance during your set.
To avoid shoulder injuries, retract your shoulder blades and push them into the bench. Make sure your wrists and elbows are parallel and don’t flare out. Maintain three points of contact with the bench at all times: the head, shoulders, and glutes.
Incline Dumbbell Press
When you use dumbbells, you can vary the incline press and mix up your training each week. Experiment with different grips, alternate between unilateral and bilateral pressing, and incorporate paused reps to make your body work harder than ever!
Pro Tip: Pull your shoulder blades back and press them into the bench. Maintain proper wrist and shoulder alignment. Throughout the exercise, keep your glutes and shoulders pressed into the bench.
The Benefits of Incline Dumbbell Press
- Excellent for increasing muscle mass and strength. The incline dumbbell press works your chest and front delts over a wide range of motion while remaining stable. That is an excellent muscle-building recipe! Your triceps also get some use as secondary movers.
- It strengthens your upper chest. In comparison to flat pressing exercises, the incline dumbbell press works your upper chest muscles more. Incorporating incline presses into your program is thus an efficient way to develop your entire pecs.
- Avoid muscle imbalance. Because you’re working with dumbbells, the incline dumbbell press can be used to identify and correct muscle imbalances from side to side. Allow your weaker side to set the pace; it will quickly catch up to your strong side.
- Take it easy on the shoulders. Many people believe that incline pressing is easier on the shoulders than flat dumbbell pressing or bench pressing.
Lie-flies can be a dangerous exercise if not done correctly; by doing them on the floor, you can reduce the strain on your shoulders and concentrate entirely on feeling the squeeze in your pecs. This is an excellent exercise for incorporating tempo training to lengthen the time your muscles are under tension.
Heavy presses and dips have been used to build the most massive chests of all time, including those of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Reg Park, and Ronnie Coleman. The finishing touches on these masterpieces, however, were done with fly variations.
How to do floor flys
- Lie down on the floor and place two dumbbells above your shoulders (arms 15 degrees shy of full extension).
- Lower the weights in an arching motion with your palms facing you.
- When you hit the floor, your elbows should be even with your chest; pause for a half second.
- Squeeze the dumbbells together again in an arching motion.
- To maintain constant tension on the pecs, stop the dumbbells a few inches shy of touching.
- Rep for the desired number of reps.
- Concentrate movement on the pecs.
Dips for Chest
This is the ideal exercise to include in a chest superset. You can perfectly target your chest in the dip by angling your torso forward. Play around with the angle until you feel the tension in your chest.
If your body weight isn’t enough, try adding weight to your dips with our dip belt. Similarly, if bodyweight is too much for you right now, add a resistance band to reduce strain at the bottom of the rep.
Check out this video for a detailed direction on how to perform this exercise effectively!
Pro Tip: Lean forward with your torso and maintain control of your speed on the way down and up. Remember to brace your trunk to aid in technique control.
Yes, we are back to the infamous fly exercise 🙂 The cable cross-over machine is an excellent piece of equipment for challenging your body and targeting specific muscle groups. Changing the height of the cables allows you to mix things up and include both decline and incline versions of the cable fly.
Pro Tip: Maintain your chest high and in front of your shoulders. Throughout the rep, keep your elbows bent slightly and concentrate on feeling the squeeze at the top of each rep.