Episode 39 – Four chest exercises for busy people
It’s that time of the week again: Chest day!
Imagine this: it’s a busy time of the month, deadlines are coming in fast and you’re in a rush to squeeze in a quick gym session. Let’s waste no more time!
A quick refresher on the chest!
Your chest muscles are fundamentally made up of the pec major. There’s also a pec minor but that’s a deeper muscle and its purpose is slightly different to your focus today. The pec muscles are also supported by the triceps and shoulder muscles on the push movement pattern. The pecs are also recruited in another movement pattern involving the front arm sling (or front arm myofascial line).
This group of muscles include: the forearms, biceps, front shoulders, and pecs and are work together in a “flye” motion.
Anyway, enough with the notes! Let’s do this!
Here’s four effective chest exercises for busy people!
1.Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is the standard in chest and push motion exercises. This compound exercise will always be in your workout program and gives you a benchmark to gauge your chest strength development.
How to do it?
To perform a barbell bench press, look for the bench and barbell setup in your gym. Lie down on the bench with your head underneath the barbell.
Lift the bar off the rack, hold it steady above your chest (the “nipple line” is a good imagery line to follow) then comfortably lower the bar to your heart / chest area.
Pause for a moment then push back up. Keep the bar stable throughout the motion.
Barbell bench press
2.Dumbbell Bench Press
Dumbbell bench press is the other exercise that will bring effective results to your chest program. While it may seem like an advanced exercise, it’s actually quite basic and great to incorporate into your workout as soon as possible. The advantage of this exercise is the isolation of each arm and, it will also allow you to work on symmetry in size and strength for both sides of the body.
How to do it?
To do dumbbell bench press effectively, simply look for a bench in the dumbbell area and sit on it with the dumbbells resting on your knees. The next step might be a bit tricky but, “knee up” and bicep curl the dumbbells at the same time (one at a time if needed) up near your chest – hold it there firmly for a 1-2 seconds – and then lie down on the bench.
Once in a comfy position on the bench, push both weights up overhead into your starting position. Make sure it’s symmetrical about the chest. When you’re ready lower the weights to your chest, perform the bench press and then return to the start.
When finished, bring the dumbbells back down to your chest and “crunch up,” placing the weights on your knees and then back to the ground.
Note: if you’re starting out it’s best to get a spotter to help you with this.
Dumbbell bench press
What’s the other 2 ways to do chest when busy? Read on
3.BOSU Push ups
BOSU push ups are fantastic for adding strength and shape to your chest. This is another effective exercise to try.
How to do it?
Begin in a push up position (on your toes and hands) with your hands placed on the BOSU. Move into the push up motion, pause at the bottom and then move back up to the start. You can also do this on your knees if needed.
BOSU push ups
BOSU push up on knees
4.Cable Chest Flye
Cable chest flye is a killer chest exercise! This is a must do for anyone who wants an effective chest exercise!
How to do it?
Simply start by setting up your cable handles and weights to be the same on both sides. Next stand in the middle of the cable machine with both handles in each arm. Step forward into a split stance, brace your abs and move into the flye motion. Slowly, return the flye back to the start.
Note: keep your elbows semi-locked out to really isolate the chest.
Cable standing chest flyes
Let’s do this! Your chest muscles are one of the easier muscles to train in the gym and are effectively worked out once you have all the essential exercises in place. Try out these four chest exercises in your workout program to get those results you want and in record time!
-Scott Webb thank you for the photo
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- Cooley, B. (2005) The Genius of Flexibility: The smart way to stretch and strengthen your body. Fireside
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- Porth, C. (2002) Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States (6th Ed.) Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
- Scientific Publishing, Ltd. (no author) (2006) Scientific Publishing’s Anatomy Chart Book. Scientific Publishing Limited
- Sherwood, L.(2004) Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (5th Ed.) Thomson, Brooks/Cole
Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.
Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.