If you want the perfect chest, you’ve got to put in the work. We have crafted the perfect chest workout as there is no shortcut to owning a broad, strong and noticeable upper body. If you want to be stronger, you’ll need to invest time and effort into chest exercises that have been proven to deliver results. There are hundreds of chest exercises that you could do. To make it easier to fit a chest workout into your busy lifestyle, we’ve narrowed it down to four chest exercises that’ll help you build serious pectoral muscles.
1. Bench Press (Any Variation)
The bench press involves laying down and pushing heavy weight away from your chest. If you’ve only got a short time to work out, be sure to include a bench press exercise into the mix. The two most common bench presses involve the use of a barbell or dumbbells. It’s more effective to do this exercise using a bench, however it can be done by lying on the ground. We recommend investing in nailing a heavy set of ten and then improving on that every time you work out, rather than being focused on a heavy single. A super heavy single can fatigue you too quickly, increase your chance of injury and force you to get a spotter.
2. Push Up (Any Variation)
The classic push up involves you lying face down on the ground and using your hands to push your body away from the ground, all while maintaining a straight back and activated core. There are so many different push up variations that you could choose a different one every time you work out. Start with the classic and move your way up to a challenging variation like a diamond or clap. Like the bench press, we recommend focusing on getting an unbroken set of ten and doing multiple sets, rather than seeing how many you can do in succession before complete failure. A good tip is to try and add a single push up to your regular set every time you work out.
3. Cable Crossover (Any Variation)
The cable crossover must be done at a gym using a cable-cross station. It involves standing between two facing cable stations that have pulleys, grabbing a D-handle in each hand, keeping your elbows slightly bent and bringing your hands together out in front of your chest. If you do this right, this chest workout should feel like you’re striking a pose in a bodybuilder competition. We recommend taking an extra step forward than might feel comfortable to ensure there is sufficient tension on the cables. Adjust the weight accordingly and, like the previous exercises, aim for a strong and unbroken set of ten reps. The variations of this exercise involve adjusting the height of the pulleys, i.e. midway or low to the ground.
The final exercise we recommend is rowing, something that should be included (in some way) at least once a week in any fitness plan. This chest exercise involves sitting on a rowing machine at the gym, fitting your feet tight, grabbing the handle and pulling out. As you do the exercise, you’ll slide forward and back in the seat. We recommend adjusting the machine’s resistance setting on the side to something you feel comfortable with and giving yourself a goal to achieve every time you do it, i.e. burn 50 calories in 3 minutes or row 1km in 8 mins. When it comes to rowing, consistency is the key. Don’t go all out in the beginning, always save some gas in the tank. To do this exercise effectively you should lean back in the chair slightly at the end of every movement, pausing to catch your breath, before going in for another big pull. As you lean forward, your body should be arching over slightly as if you’re doing a sit-up, letting the handle almost touch the machine, before you pull back out.
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