Chest Exercise Program



The best chest exercise program features a variety of exercises that target the muscle from all different angles.The best chest exercise for many people is push-ups, because the push-up is a great overall chest toner and requires no equipment. Others swear by the chest press and chest fly, using dumbbells.

No matter which chest exercises you choose from the list below, always remember that chest workouts should not be done two days in a row; always allow your muscles to recover for at least 48 hours before working them again.

Push-Ups

Basic Push-up: Lie face down on the ground. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Push your body up off the ground while keeping your body straight like a board and keeping your abs tight. Bend your arms at the elbows and lower your body back to the ground. Keep your elbows close to your body. Get as low as you can without actually touching the ground. Continue raising and lowering your body for the desired number of reps.

If you're a beginner, you may want to start with a less challenging type of push-up, such as doing push-ups on your knees or against a wall until you're strong enough to perform a set of regular push-ups.

Wide Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but place your hands slightly wider then shoulder width apart.

Diamond Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but place your hands close together and form a triangle with your two thumbs and two forefingers. This exercise also works the triceps.

Decline Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but elevate your feet on an exercise bench or a chair.

Slow Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but take twice as long to lift and lower your body.

Varied Tempo Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but alternate between doing two super slow push-ups and two ultra quick push-ups.

Traveling Push-up: Perform one push-up, then move your hands one at a time out to the right of your body and do another push-up. Move your hands back under your body and perform one push-up, then move your hands one at a time out to the left of your body and do another push-up. Move your hands back under your body and perform one push-up, then move your hands one at a time out to the right of your body and do another push-up. Continue this pattern for the desired number of reps.

Uneven Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but put one hand on an elevated surface, such as a yoga block or brick. Do all reps, then switch hands and do the same number of reps.

Staggered Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but put one hand further forward and one hand further back. Do all reps, then switch hands and do the same number of reps.

Push-up with Rotation: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but rotate your entire body to the right after the first push-up. Rotate your body back to the start position, perform a push-up, and rotate your entire body to the left. Continue this pattern for the desired number of reps.

One Hand Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but use only one hand rather than two.

One Leg Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but use only one leg rather than two.

Plyometric Push-up: Follow the directions for regular push-ups, but rather than simply raising and lowering your body, EXPLODE upwards so that your hands clear the ground by a few inches! You can even clap if you feel like it!

Hindu Push-up: A little different than your regular old push-up. Start in a regular push-up position, but then stick your butt high up in the air (you may need to walk your hands and feet towards each other just a little). Then lower your body with a scooping-forward motion, and return to the starting position.

Chest Press

Chest Press with Dumbbells: Lie on your back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Position the dumbbells so that they are slightly outside and above your shoulders with your palms facing forward and a 90 degree bend in your elbows. Your upper arms should be parallel to the ground. Press the dumbbells up and above your chest while squeezing your chest muscles. Pause at the top, then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Decline Chest Press with Dumbbells: Follow the directions for the Chest Press above, but perform this exercise on a decline bench where your head and shoulders are lower than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the lower chest muscles.

Incline Chest Press with Dumbbells: Follow the directions for the Chest Press above, but perform this exercise on an incline bench where your head and shoulders are higher than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the upper chest muscles.

Chest Press with Band: Secure an exercise band under your exercise bench, near your head. Lie on your back on the bench. Grab both ends of the band and press straight up. Be sure to keep enough tension in the band to challenge your muscles. The further you grip the band from the ends, the more tension you will put on your muscles.

Decline Chest Press with Band: Follow the directions for the Chest Press with Band above, but perform this exercise on a decline bench where your head and shoulders are lower than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the lower chest muscles.

Incline Chest Press with Band: Follow the directions for the Chest Press with Band above, but perform this exercise on an incline bench where your head and shoulders are higher than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the upper chest muscles.

Standing Chest Press with Band: Secure an exercise band around a sturdy, immobile object, at chest height. Face away from the object and grab both ends of the band. Press straight forward, making sure to keep enough tension in the band to challenge your muscles. The further you grip the band from the ends, the more tension you will put on your muscles.

Chest Flye

Chest Flye with Dumbbells: Lie on your back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Position the dumbbells so that they are at arms length above your chest with your palms facing each other and a slight bend in your elbows. Lower dumbbells out to your sides in a circular motion, then return them to the starting position, again using a circular motion. Think of hugging a tree when you do flyes.

Chest Flye with Twist with Dumbbells: Follow the directions for the Chest Flye above, but twist the dumbbells inward as you lift them.

Decline Chest Flye with Dumbbells: Follow the directions for the Chest Flye above, but perform this exercise on a decline bench where your head and shoulders are lower than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the lower chest muscles.

Incline Chest Flye with Dumbbells: Follow the directions for the Chest Flye above, but perform this exercise on an incline bench where your head and shoulders are higher than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the upper chest muscles.

Chest Flye with Band: Secure an exercise band under your exercise bench, near your head. Lie on your back on the bench. Grab both ends of the band and press straight up. Position your hands so that they are at arms length above your chest with your palms facing each other and a slight bend in your elbows. Lower your hands out to your sides in a circular motion, then return them to the starting position, again using a circular motion. Think of hugging a tree when you do flyes. Be sure to keep enough tension in the band to challenge your muscles. The further you grip the band from the ends, the more tension you will put on your muscles.

Decline Chest Flye with Band: Follow the directions for the Chest Flye with Band above, but perform this exercise on a decline bench where your head and shoulders are lower than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the lower chest muscles.

Incline Chest Flye with Band: Follow the directions for the Chest Flye with Band above, but perform this exercise on an incline bench where your head and shoulders are higher than your chest. This puts the emphasis on the upper chest muscles.

Miscellaneous Chest Exercises

Isometric Chest Press: Place your hands together in front of you at chest level. Push your hands against each other as hard as you can for as long as you can. release. Repeat, if you wish.

Dumbbell Pullover: Lie on your back on a bench while holding one dumbbell by one end in both hands. Position yourself that your head is at the very end of the bench. Lift the dumbbell straight above your chest. Keep your arms straight and slowly lower the dumbbell down and behind your head. Return to start position.



Around the World: Lie on your back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Place your hands face-up on your thighs with your elbows slightly bent. Slowly move your arms out and around you in an arc, finishing above/behind your head (imagine you're making a snow angel) with the dumbbells lightly touching. Reverse the arc and return to the original position. Continue this pattern for the desired number of reps.





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