Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her favorite exercises for each body part. That’s how it should be – as you progress through the various stages of learning you’ll understand what works best for you. It is useful, however, to take stock of your progress every so often and carry out an analysis of where you are and what changes, if any, are needed to move onwards and upwards.
Part of this analysis should include an assessment of the core exercises that make up your bodybuilding training program. In this article we’ll look at the chest exercises that have proven their worth to serious bodybuilders for many years. Where appropriate a series of exercises suitable for achieving pre-exhaustion will be presented. All exercises should be performed to failure with one set of six to eight reps.
1. Dumbbell flyes – this exercise provides a useful means of isolating the pectorals and preserving the triceps for the subsequent exercise. The exercise should be performed as follows:
– Hold dumbbells directly overhead.
– Lower them to sides with elbows slightly bent, pulled back and to the side. Lower no further than level with the torso.
– Use the pectorals to pull the weights back up to the starting position.
2. Incline bench press – you can move straight on to this exercise if you have reached an appropriate level of experience. If you perform this exercise as the second part of a pre-exhaust routine you may have to use lighter weights than normally.
– Take a shoulder width grip.
– Lower the bar to the chest with the elbows pointed to the side.
– Return to the starting position.
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Exercise calisthenics #2 (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)