By Scott Mooney
Six Star Ambassador
A lot of people have a stubborn body part that just doesn’t seem to grow. If the chest is that body part for you, then give some of these exercises a try. If you’re a beginner, I suggest trying simple, straightforward chest exercises before trying these. When you get bored with the same old thing or need to bust through a plateau, try these exercises and build the thick, wide chest you’ve always wanted!
1. DUMBBELL PUSH-TOGETHER PRESS
This exercise is a great finisher for chest but can be used at any time during the workout. During this exercise, you can lie on either a flat or incline bench. You perform these as you would a neutral-grip dumbbell chest press. The only difference is that you push the dumbbells together, so the dumbbells are touching. The dumbbells should be touching the whole time as you lower them to your chest and while pressing them back up. You need to focus on constantly pushing the dumbbells together through the entire movement. It really focuses on the middle chest and should have the chest pumped up by the time you’re done.
2. SIDEWAYS ONE-ARM HAMMER STRENGTH PRESS
On this exercise, you need a hammer strength chest press that has you sitting upright. You will perform one arm at a time. Sit sideways on a bench, facing towards the side you plan on working. Instead of pressing the weight in front of your body, as you do with most chest presses, you will be pressing the weight across your body. Your hand should cross over the midline of your body, which really emphasizes the middle chest.
3. REVERSE-GRIP INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
This exercise combines the reverse-grip press (normally done on a flat bench with a barbell) and an incline dumbbell press. That’s twice the emphasis on the upper chest. Lay on an incline bench with dumbbells that are less weight than you would do for a regular incline press. Instead of facing your palms away from your face, you’re going to spin the dumbbells around and have your palms face towards your face. Keep the dumbbells reversed like this through the whole movement. You can twist the dumbbells slightly as you lower if it is more comfortable on your shoulder. Bring the dumbbells slightly below 90 degrees and press back up, focusing on squeezing the upper chest.
4. INCLINE DUMBBELL FLY ON PREACHER CURL
You do these as you would any incline chest fly, only standing and leaning back on a preacher curl bench. For the most upper-chest activation, keep your palms facing away from you and focus on squeezing the upper chest as you bring the dumbbells together. Focus on a good wide stretch and a hard squeeze at the top.
5. TRX CHEST PRESS OR TRX CHEST FLY
Get TRX bands and hang them from a sturdy structure in your gym. Extend them until the grips are only a few inches from the floor. Perform these as a normal push-up but with your hands grabbing the TRX grips. These allow for a greater range of motion as well as an extreme amount of stabilizer muscles being used. If you can handle the press no problem, then try performing flies instead. A great way to superset these are to perform as many TRX flies as possible, then without any rest switch to TRX press to failure.
6. SINGLE-ARM SMITH MACHINE PRESS
You may have tried single-arm dumbbell chest presses, but how often have you done a single-arm press with a barbell? Well, that’s pretty close to impossible, so Smith machines are the next best thing. You will use much less weight than you normally would for a regular Smith machine press. It can be done pretty much on any angle (incline, flat or decline). Grab the bar as you normally would, unrack the weight, and then remove one of your hands. Bring the bar down until your elbows are slightly below 90 degrees. The key here is to not twist your body. Keep a neutral spine and squeeze the one pec hard at the top. Try it on multiple different angles for maximum results.
|DUMBBELL PUSH-TOGETHER PRESS||4||10-12|
|SIDEWAYS ONE-ARM HAMMER STRENGTH PRESS||4||10-12|
|REVERSE-GRIP INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS||4||10-12|
|INCLINE DUMBBELL FLY ON PREACHER CURL||4||10-12|
|TRX CHEST PRESS OR TRX CHEST FLY||4||10-12|
|SINGLE-ARM SMITH MACHINE PRESS||4||10-12|