Monday, November 29, 2010

How To Do Dumbbell Shrugs

Strong Shoulders Makes For A Stronger Chest



The shoulders are essential to a strong upper body. You won't be able to lift very much if your shoulders are weak. And this will have an effect on development of your chest muscles. So what can we do to keep the shoulders in shape? Train them. And that's where shrugs come in.

Dumbbell shrug benefits

The dumbbell shrug has many benefits including:

  • builds strong shoulders
  • increases shoulder size
  • improves posture
Just from reading this short list, there's no excuse for not doing dumbbell shrugs.

How to Dumbbell Shrugs

You'll need a pair of dumbbells for this exercise. Take a dumbbell in each hand. Stand up straight while sticking your chest out. The dumbbells must be at your sides. Now shrug. Yes, shrug. Raise your shoulders up then lower them down again. That's the dumbbell shrug. This is an action many of us do in normal body language. The only thing that you're doing now is adding weight which creates resistance. This exercise is very easy, so try for a minimum of fifteen repetitions per set. Rest for thirty seconds then do it again for a total of five sets. Each week increase the weights in five pound increments. You can also do dumbbell shrugs from a seated position. Sit down on a chair or bench, keeping your knees together. That's the only difference between seated and standing dumbbell shrugs.

If done properly you'll notice improved posture, increased size and strength of your shoulders. This has an indirect benefit for chest strengthening exercises because dips and bench press rely on strong shoulder muscle. Plus, when you've got good posture it increases overall attractiveness.

That's all for dumbbell shrugs. In an upcoming post I'll discuss barbell shrugs. Now's the time to get off the computer and workout. It's the only way to become stronger. Get started. Now.

"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Dumbbell Shrugs - Strong Shoulders Make For A Stronger Chest" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How To Do Triceps Dips

Strong triceps enhance the ability of your bench press



By now you can see that this blog talks about workouts that you may have never thought would help you develop a great chest. The thing is, taken together everyone of these workouts will help you to build a strong body and which has a direct effect on your chest. And I'm going to show you the triceps dip, exercise that will definitely help you develop stronger upper body muscles in your arms, chest and back. What's so great about them? Here are three immediate benefits of triceps dips:

  • stronger triceps means you can bench more weight
  • increase the size of your triceps
  • enhances your endurance
This is an exercise that you should learn because it is so important to you getting the most out of your chest workouts. And they can be done using parallel bars and if you don't have a pair of those around, they can even be done using a chair, or bench

How To Do Triceps Dips for Chair or Bench

You'll need a bench or chair for this exercise. If you're using a chair or a bench, place your palms face down on its surface. Extend your legs forward and balance yourself on the heels of your feet. Now, slowly lower yourself to an angle of less than 90 degrees. Pause for a second then use your triceps to push yourself back up again. Perform eight to ten reps of this exercise, rest and then repeat for five sets.

How To Do Triceps Dips With Parallel Bar

Most gyms have a dip exercise station, but if they don't you can still do this exercise with a pair of parallel bars. Position yourself between the two bars. Grip one in each hand. Use the steps to get yourself into the starting position. Keep your back straight. Now lower yourself down until your arms are parallel to the floor. Next, push yourself up again using your TRICEPS. Make sure that your elbows don't lock at the top of the movement. Perform ten reps then rest before doing another set. Go for five sets then move to another exercise.

If your triceps and shoulder muscles are very underdeveloped you can perform assisted dips. In this case, you'll need to climb onto a lever and then follow the steps that I laid out in the previous paragraph. But I really discourage assisted dips because they delay progress instead of helping it. The whole idea behind the triceps dip is to strengthen that muscle. Any assistance takes away the benefit. If you have trouble with dips, there are a couple of things you can do

  1. perform barbell or dumbbell shrugs to strengthen your shoulders
  2. perform exercises on triceps machine or triceps push ups
  3. keep practicing the triceps dip exercise until you become more proficient and stronger

This isn't an easy exercise for most people. In my gym, I rarely see anyone doing them. Triceps dips, is just like any other exercise: practice, practice and practice some more and gradually you'll get better at them. And then you'll notice that you're able to perform better bench presses because your triceps will have become much stronger. And from a sex appeal point of view, women love it when a guy has big arms and a developed chest. Yep, those are a couple extra incentives for adding this exercise to your routine. This is a way to get bigger arms without weights. Triceps dips is an exercise that can be done at home or at the gym. So you see? You don't have any excuses left. Don't sit around just reading, get out there and do them!

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Triceps Dips - Strong triceps enhance the ability of your bench press" copyright 2010. Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do The Barbell Floor Press

Get Off Your Bench!



Do you want to bench more weight than you ever have before? Want to push the envelope and become stronger and stronger? Since you're reading this blog the answer is yes. Duh! Well, you're in luck. I'm going to tell you how to get even better at your bench press. And all you've gotta do is get off the bench. And work hard. And work hard again. And work hard some more. Hey, who ever said that anything worth having would be easy, huh?

How To Do the Barbell Floor Press

You'll need an Olympic bar, power rack and a hard, horizontal flat surface for this exercise. First, put the safety pins in the 2nd hole position because this will allow you enough clearance when you lower the bar toward your chest. The difference between the regular barbell press for bench and this exercise is that you're lying flat on the floor. Here are a few benefits of the barbell floor press:

  • strengthens the triceps
  • hits problem areas in your bench press
  • allows for greater safety if performed at the Power rack

Set the bar on the rack and add weight. Now lie down on the floor. Make sure that you have a slight arch in your back, tighten your abdominal muscles and plant the soles of your feet firmly on the floor. Make sure that you press your shoulder blades into the floor and thus provide more support for the lift. Now using a standard grip, lift the bar off the rack. Lower it toward your chest, then press the weight back up again. Your triceps should be parallel to the floor at the bottom of the lift. Go for at least three reps, then stop. If you're used to heavy lifting you will be doing three to five reps per set on this exercise. And for safety's sake, perform no more than five sets of the exercise, you don't want to work yourself to over train these muscles.

The barbell floor press is a compound exercise meaning that it emphasizes the triceps and also works muscles in the chest, shoulders, and wrists. A great way to increase the power of your bench and develop your chest and upper body muscles is to workout at 50 - 70 percent of your one rep max. You can also do them in place of the flat bench press and gradually add five pounds of weight in weekly increments. And just so you know, the dumbbell floor press exercise is a variation on what I'm talking about in this article. But when performing the dumbbell floor press, I recommend that you stay within 50 percent of your one rep max, and use a spotter if possible. The Power rack won't be of any use for the dumbbell floor press.

The barbell floor press is a prime exercise for developing a strong upper body so don't sit around dreaming of a better bench, make sure to add this exercise in your regular routine. 

"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do The Barbell Floor Press - Get Off Your Bench!" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.  


Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do the Machine Chest Press

Proper Form Gets Results



Today I'm going to show you a really cool exercise that will definitely give you a Great Chest Workout. Although free weights have many advantages to building size, muscle and strength, don't sell the machines short. While there's a line of people waiting to get in a few reps on the bench press, you can get right to work on the chest press machine. Shaking your head no? Well, here are some benefits of the chest press machine:

  • strengthens the chest
  • strengthens the arms
  • strengthens the shoulders
And when you want to become bigger and stronger, you'll do what works. That's what this is all about. You know it and I know it. So let's get started.

How To Do the Machine Chest Press

You'll need a chest press machine for this exercise. Some chest press machines come with a foot lever, others don't. The only thing the lever does is help you get the handles into proper position. Select a weight that is appropriate for you, if you're a newbie and not accustomed to heavy workouts, workout at a weight range of thirty to fifty pounds. Next, adjust the seat to a position that will allow you to perform the exercise with proper form. Sit up straight and your shoulders into the back rest. Now, take a handle bar in each hand. Using your chest muscles, press the handle bars forward until your arms are fully extended. Hold for a five second count. Now slowly return your arms to the starting position. You've just completed one rep. Remember to breathe in before you press, and to exhale as you complete the first half of the movement. After you've finished ten reps, take about fifteen seconds to rest then start another set. You should do five sets of this exercise with ten reps for each of those sets. Of course, that shouldn't be the only exercise you do on chest day. After you complete your sets on the machine chest press, make sure you do some bench presses, dips, push ups, or even isometric hand presses. Combining several of these compound exercises will boost your testosterone levels, which is a natural growth hormone that increases muscle size. This is good for your entire body.

Now it's time to get off the computer and into the gym. See you all here next week for another article on my Great Chest Workouts website. Catch you later.

"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do the Machine Chest Press - Proper Form Gets Results" copyright 2010. Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Power Rack Lockouts

Power To Your Bench Press



Are you doing dips, skullcrushers, and push ups, but still having trouble with your bench press? All of the exercises that I mentioned are intended to strengthen the triceps which in turn helps your bench press. But they might not be enough for some people. And even if you are seeing good results with your bench, if you're like most other lifters, you want to continuing pushing the limits of what you do. That's where power rack lockouts come in! Sometimes the only remedy for a lagging bench press is to lift heavy. Lift heavy and lift hard. And make no mistake: the power rack lockout is ONE exercise that will definitely FORCE you to work hard for every single rep you do.

How To Do Power Rack Lockouts

This is an exercise that can be deadly if you do them incorrectly. You must use a power rack for this exercise. No exceptions. Get a flat bench, Olympic bar, safety pins and weight plates because you're going to need all of them. Set the safety pins in the eighth hole and the bar on top of the pins. Position the flat bench under the bar. To get a feel for what this exercise is about, lie down on the bench just as you do for a bench press. Griping the bar at shoulder width, lift it from the pins and perform ten reps. This is just to get a feel for what you're doing. This power rack lockout is a partial lockout exercise that focuses on the lockout of the flat bench exercise. You're focusing on stronger triceps here. (The mid rack lockout is even more intense than the exercise that I'm talking about today. We'll learn about mid rack lockouts in an upcoming article.)

Now it's time to add weight. For this exercise you want to lift 125 - 150 percent of your 1 RM. So if your 1 RM is 200 pounds, you'll need to lift 250 - 300 pounds on the Power rack lockouts. And the only way to do this safely is to use the power rack. My 1 RM is 280 pounds, so I lifted 365 pounds which is 130 percent of my 1 RM. After you've added the proper amount of weight, it's time to get started.

Lie down on the flat bench just as you would for the flat bench barbell press. Grip the bar at shoulder width. Make sure that your feet are firmly planted on the floor. Arch your back, and keep your shoulders in tight. Take a deep breath and lift the bar off the safety pins. Hold the bar at that position for three seconds then lower it down to the pins again, exhaling on the way down. Then do another rep same as before. The triceps are the primary target in this exercise but you're going to feel it as an energy cost for the whole body. This is a heavy weight, low rep exercise. You're going for three sets of 3- 5 reps each. If you can perform more than six reps, you haven't added enough weight. If you can't get more than one rep, then lower the weight by 30 - 45 pounds. After you've done one set, take 60 seconds to rest. Then go for it again. Don't be surprised if you have trouble getting the same number of reps out of your second set. This is okay, it just means that you're doing that you're supposed to do. But try not to decrease the weights on your second set because this would eliminate any benefit from this exercise. 

Power rack lockouts are very very effective in generating incredible strength for the upper body. If you've got enough energy left, get in a few sets of tricep dips or push ups to round out your triceps workout. When you're doing Power rack lockouts for flat bench, your triceps are going to be doing most of the work and if you make them a part of your regular routine, you should start seeing promising results in only a few short weeks.

That's it for the power rack lockouts exercise. Look for more articles on my Great Chest Workouts website.

"Great Chest Workouts: How To Do Power Rack Lockouts - Power To Your Bench Press" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.