Monday, August 30, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do The Declined Bench Barbell Press

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Power to the Lower Chest

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healthy_blogging


If you want to develop your chest muscles, you're going to train hard. With many different exercises. If you don't think you can handle that, then take up another sport. In this article I'm going to cover the declined bench barbell press, an exercise that is very important for strengthening and sculpting the lower chest.

Performing the Declined Bench Barbell Press

You'll need a declined bench, weight plates and an Olympic bar for this exercise. If you're a novice, I suggest that you workout with very light weights, ask for the help of a spotter or use a Smith Machine. You'll need to position yourself under the bar. Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. Your shoulder blades should be pressed against the bench. Now, grip the bar and slowly lower it to within one inch of your chest. Hold the position for a five second count then press the weight back up to your starting position. You've just completed one rep. Do five sets of this exercise with a total of 6-8 reps per set. You should feel a stretch in your lower chest when performing this exercise. Remember that if you're new to weight lifting, begin with light weights and increase them in weekly increments of two and a half pounds. You'll see gains right away if done correctly.

I've tackled the basics of the decline bench barbell press on the Great Chest Workout website. But you won't get any stronger just sitting around reading about workouts. Now is the time to get out there and do them. So do it.

"Great Chest Workout: Declined Bench Barbell Press - More Power To The Chest" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Dumbbells Are Important For Great Chest Workouts

Dumbbells Make You Work Harder

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healthy_blogging


People who work out with weights may notice that one side of the body seems stronger than the other. This causes a lot of frustration because it will screw up your symmetry and progress. Even worse you can be hurt very seriously if one side of the body can't carry its own weight (literally). 

That's why dumbbell workouts should be part of any serious exercise routine. Yet, you'll see people scoff at the dumbbells and head straight for the Olympic bar. They don't even realize how important the dumbbells can be to their chest strengthening workouts. Take the barbell flat bench press, for example. If you're a newbie or haven't worked out for a long time, you might notice that it's harder to press from one side or the other. This would affect how many reps that you can successfully perform. What's happening is that progress is slowed as one side of the body has to compensate for the other side. But what can you do about it?

Benefits of Dumbbell Workouts

When you workout with dumbbells, you force both sides of the body to work hard. For example, if the muscles on the left side of your chest aren't developing as quickly as those on the right side, you can perform additional repetitions of the less developed muscles using dumbbells. This allows you to put more attention on those muscle groups teaching them to take the stress during exercise. The exercises should be performed with equal weight dumbbells, though, to prevent the weaker side from becoming stronger than the muscles that are further along in their development. It's important to keep in mind that some dumbbell exercises maybe more difficult to perform than others and thus you might want to get the help of a spotter.

Here's a short list of some chest and shoulder exercises that can be done with dumbbells:

  • dumbbell flat bench press
  • dumbbell declined bench press
  • dumbbell front arm raise
  • dumbbell overhead press
  • dumbbell lateral raise
  • dumbbell pullovers
  • hammer grip inclined dumbbell bench press

It's a good idea to mix it up a bit i.e. perform barbell exercises one week and then dumbbell exercises the next, this way you keep your muscles guessing and also to help strengthen those muscles that are slower to progress.


Okay, that's all for this article. Look forward to more articles on my Great Chest Workouts website. Thanks for reading.

"Why Dumbbells Are Important For Great Chest Workouts: Dumbbells Make You Work Harder" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Shoulder Strength Is Great for the Chest

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healthy_blogging

Since you follow this blog, you have noticed that I write a lot about shoulder exercises. I can't stress enough the importance that overall upper body strength plays into developing a great chest. If you are deficient in one area it will impede your progress in another. Not only that, if your muscles are very weak and underdeveloped it can lead to serious injury when you get into heavier lifting exercises. So once again I'm going to present an article that focuses on building shoulder strength. In the end this will help your benching exercises immensely.

How To Perform the Dumbbell Lateral Raise


This exercise is designed to strengthen your upper back, neck and shoulder muscles. You'll need two dumbbells for this exercise. Grasp a medium weight dumbbell in each hand and hold them in front of your thighs. Lean forward while maintaining a slight bend in your knees. Make sure that your elbows are slightly bent. Use your shoulder muscles to raise your arms up to your sides, stop when they're at shoulder height. Now lower them to starting position. Do this for five reps to get a feel for the exercise. From there, perform eight to ten reps for a total of five sets. Increase the weights in two and a half to five pound intervals every week.

The dumbbell lateral raise is one of those little gems, if you practice them regularly not only will you notice that your shoulders are stronger which helps your benching exercises you'll have good shoulder definition, too.

That's all for dumbbell lateral raises. Look for more articles on my Great Chest Workouts website. Thanks for reading.

"Great Chest Workouts: Dumbbell Lateral Raises - Shoulder Strength Is Great For The Chest" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do The Push Press Exercise

Strong Shoulders Make For A Strong Chest

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healthy_blogging


Have you noticed that the benefits of benching can be transferred to other lifts and vice versa? Well, they can. And in this article I'm going to talk about how the push press exercise can help strengthen your shoulders which will have direct impact on your bench press.

What is the Push Press and How to Perform It?

The push press is very similar to the overhead or military press. It's an exercise that places a demand on overall body strength, drawing muscles from the legs, glutes and shoulders to execute the precise move. You will need a weight bar, rack, and weight plates for this exercise. If you're less experienced you should start with just the rack and weight bar and use a spotter if possible.

Make sure that the bar is racked at shoulder height.* With your palms facing outward and legs shoulder width apart, you now get under the bar. The bar must be rested on the front of your shoulders (some people prefer the bar on the back of their shoulders but this article is intended for beginners and intermediate lifters).

Now you will dip so that your knees are slightly bent. Your glutes will be sticking out behind you but your chest doesn't move forward at all. This is an important note because this exercise is designed to strengthen the shoulders not the chest. The chest benefits when your shoulders are strong enough to help press weights during bench exercises. So remember to dip straight down with the weight bar across the front of your shoulders.

Next you will push yourself up while pressing the weight overhead. The action involves using the muscles in your legs and glutes to propel you back to a fully standing position. This involves a lot of power. At the same time you will press the weight overhead and lock your arms out. After this you lower the weight down to the rack and begin again. Because of the energy demands of the push press, don't be surprised if you aren't able to perform more than four or five repetitions. And that's okay because even Olympic lifters don't press more than a few reps at the upper weight levels of this exercise.

The push press will give your body a fantastic all around workout. And you'll see the results when benching, there will be less strain on your shoulders as you will have trained them to handle heavier loads. This, of course, will make your chest exercises more enjoyable and beneficial.

Well, that's all for this discussion of the push press. Look forward to more articles on my Great Chest Workouts website. Thanks for reading.

* Racking the weight isn't the only way to start this exercise. Experienced lifters know that the weight bar can be cleaned to the shoulders but this article is written for beginner and intermediate lifters.

"Push Press Has A Role In Great Chest Workouts: Strong Shoulders Make For A Strong Chest" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Dumbbell Pullovers

This Is A Stretch

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healthy_blogging


There are many different exercises that can work out the muscles in your chest, some maybe more familiar than others. In this article, we're going to look at what the dumbbell pullover can do for you.

Performing Dumbbell Pullovers

You'll need one dumbbell and a flat bench for this exercise. If you're inexperienced start out with very light weights and get the help of a spotter. You must lie flat on your back and place both feet firmly on the floor. Grip the dumbbell in your hand. If the weight is heavy you may use both hands. Slowly lower the weight down beyond your head. It would be somewhat similar to the skullcrusher but you're using a dumbbell. You should feel a stretch in your chest muscles as you lower the dumbbell. Now raise it overhead again. You've completed one rep. Perform ten reps of the exercise then take a fifteen second break and start another set. Complete a total of five sets of this exercise. There are variations on the dumbbell pullover, you can use a declined bench if you wish, this will allow for more stretching of the chest muscles.

This is a good way to get in a chest workout on light chest days (as can be the case when you wish to deload) or when the barbell bench press station isn't available.

That's all for this article. Look forward to more articles on my Great Chest Workouts website. Thanks for reading.

"Dumbbell Pullovers For A Great Chest Workout: This Is A Stretch" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.