Weight Training Fitness: Chest

Gym Work-Outs For Chest

 

Going to the gym to get a great chest work-out can sometimes be a little intimidating.  There are things to know before going into a gym like what body part are you going to work-out.  In this hub I am going to discuss with you some common and uncommon chest work-out exercises.

Bench Presses

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The Flat Bench starting positionThe Down position of the flat bench exercise.
The Flat Bench starting position
The Flat Bench starting position
The Down position of the flat bench exercise.
The Down position of the flat bench exercise.

The Barbell Bench Presses

The bench press is the most common chest exercise in existence. The reason for this is because it is the easiest one to do and it works the muscle two ways. The first way is obviously the contraction of the muscle by pushing the weight back up. The second way is when you lower the weight. You don’t want to just let the weight fall onto your chest…that hurts so you lower it in a controlled manner. There are three different types of bench press. They are the flat bench press, the inclined bench press, and the declined bench press.

The Flat Bench Press

The flat bench press is done by lying flat on a bench and lifting a barbell bar and weights up and down. It is highly recommend that you have a spotter while you conduct this exercise. For two reasons—one if you get stuck the spotter can help you push the weight all the way back up, and two you can push yourself harder if you know there is someone there to support you. The exercise is started once the bar is off the bench. Make sure that when you pull the bar off the bench you hold it there until you are in a comfortable position with the bar. Next, lower the bar with a count of one, hold for a two count, and return to the start position with a one count. I see this exercise done incorrectly all the time and am guilty of it myself. The exerciser should arch their back while pushing the weight but keep there entire shoulder blades against the bench.

The Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press is done the same way as the flat bench but you are inclined at a thirty degree angle.  You will need to lower the weight you have when you first start because this exercise focuses on the upper pectoral muscles.  Once you get to the same weight as the flat bench you can start increasing the weights.

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The Incline Bench Press start positionThe Incline Bench Press down position
The Incline Bench Press start position
The Incline Bench Press start position
The Incline Bench Press down position
The Incline Bench Press down position

The Decline Bench Press

 

The decline bench is just the opposite of the incline bench press.  On the decline bench your head is lower than your feet.  The decline bench press focuses on the lower portion of the pectoral muscles.

Anytime you decide to do a chest work-out it is imperative that you work-out on all three of these exercises.  If you solely focus on just the flat bench your pectoral muscles will take on a funny looking shape.  You could inadvertently end up with man boobs.  By combining all three you get the benefit of building a solid mass of pectoral muscles that are flat. 

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The Decline Bench Press start positionThe Decline Bench Press down position
The Decline Bench Press start position
The Decline Bench Press start position
The Decline Bench Press down position
The Decline Bench Press down position

Dumbbell Bench Presses

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Flat Bench Dumbbell press start positionFlat Bench Dumbbell press up position
Flat Bench Dumbbell press start position
Flat Bench Dumbbell press start position
Flat Bench Dumbbell press up position
Flat Bench Dumbbell press up position

Dumbbell Bench Presses

 

The dumbbell bench presses are a great alternative to the barbell bench presses.  If you don’t have a spotter or work-out partner these will suffice quite nicely.  The dumbbell bench presses are the same as far as flat bench, inclined, and declined presses.  Bear in mind that you will use a lower weight with dumbbells than with barbells.

The Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

The flat dumbbell bench press is performed just like the flat barbell bench press except you are more isolated and need to choose a lower weight.  Performing this exercise is the same method as well

The Inclined and Declined Bench Press

Each one of these exercises is also like its barbell alternative.  Once more choose a lower weight to lift with these variations.  The lift is done by placing the dumbbell on your chest then moving your arms so your upper arms are parallel to the ground, then simply push the weight up and placing the weights together.  You could also vary the exercise by giving a twist to the weights to force your chest to flex. 

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The Incline Dumbbell bench press start positionThe Incline Dumbbell bench press up position
The Incline Dumbbell bench press start position
The Incline Dumbbell bench press start position
The Incline Dumbbell bench press up position
The Incline Dumbbell bench press up position

The Butterfly

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The Flye start positionThe Flye up position
The Flye start position
The Flye start position
The Flye up position
The Flye up position

The Butterfly

 

To do the butterfly lay flat on a bench with a weight in each hand, choose a weight that you can hold out away from your body.  Extend your arms straight out to your sides, and then raise your arms without bending your elbows until the weights touch above your head.  This exercise can also be done on a cable machine, that exercise is often called a cable crossover.  You can also do one on a machine that you sit at and pull the weight forward.  Just make sure that you flex your chest every time you contract your muscles.

The Overhead Pull

The overhead pull down is less popular but is also a great chest work-out at a gym.  For this exercise your back is lying against a bench while your feet are out the side of the bench.  To begin the exercise, move the weight over your head on the vertical.  Basically the weight is being held above your head with your arms straight out like your reaching for something overhead, not above you.  Then raise the weight above you towards your chest keeping your arms straight.  You should feel your pectoral muscles flexing as you do this.  Once you get back to the starting position that is one rep.  Do ten repetitions per set and a total of three sets.

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The Overhead Pull starting positionThe Overhead Pull up position
The Overhead Pull starting position
The Overhead Pull starting position
The Overhead Pull up position
The Overhead Pull up position

Hubchallenge

Hubchallenge number 11
Hubchallenge number 11

Authors note

 

There are many more chest exercises that can be done at a gym but this hub is meant to cover the basis of weight directions.  Pushing away from your body, and pulling into your body.  These are the main functions of the chest muscle and when working out to develop these muscles each direction should be worked.  As stated in a previous hub if you have any questions while you are at a gym, they staff a personal trainer that is proficient in all areas of exercise and can help you out.  I also recommend that you get a physical done by a medical professional before starting any exercise routine if you are over thirty years of age.

Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox

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Comments 5 comments

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

That's what I wanted but is The Overhead Pull starting position useful bcz it includes pain more thank benefit? Thanks


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Yes, the overhead pull is a very useful exercise because it changes the emphasis on the target muscle area. If you want a well sculpted physique then I would suggest using all of these. If not then you can edit your program to whatever you are most comfortable with. Thank you for visiting my articles today, and I hope that they help.


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

I worked out yesterday and my oh my, i feel so tired. Of course i remembered all your advice here... Well, I'm not looking for championship you know, it's just shaping the body a bit. Thanks for your wonderful hubs... All the best.


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thanks Shame, I appreciate it. I am glad they help.


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 5 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012 Author

Thanks for reading my article rubenrubert but the comments section of a hhubpage as stated directly below the comments box is not for promoting your own hubpages. This is why I have deleted your comment as you have just violated hubpages terms.

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