Sometimes you skip leg day, or even back or ab day, but no bodybuilders that call themselves that ever skip chest day. Monday is widely known as the chest day, but most people fall into a mundane routine of flat bench presses, dips, incline presses, cable crossovers and of course, dumbbell flyes. Not that these exercises aren’t effective – they are – but if you want to hit your pectorals from all sides, you will definitely want to diversify your routine with some of the following exercises, or possibly all of them.
1. One-Arm Flye
Flyes and crossovers aren’t uncommon in the gym, but usually people will use both arms to perform them. If you happen to do some flyes with one arm instead, you will put all of your focus on half the muscles, and you can use this exercise to balance out your progress as well.
To do a one-arm dumbbell flye, lie down on your back on a flat bench with only one dumbbell, secure yourself to the bench with your other hand and put your working hand up above your chest with the dumbbell in your hand. Slowly move your arm to the side and remember to bend your elbow just a little bit until you feel the stretch hitting your chest. When it’s time to bring the dumbbell back up, just contract your pec. Remember to use your chest muscle as much as possible and your arm muscles as little as possible for best effect. Do the selected number of reps, switch your arms and do it again until you’ve completed your planned sets.
To do a dumbbell pullover, lie on a flat bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your feet firmly on the floor. Take a dumbbell by its end with both of your hands – remember to have your arms extended and your fingers overlapping, not interlocking. Start with the weight above your chest and slowly lower it over your head until you can feel your chest muscle stretching. Flex your chest muscles and bring the dumbbell back up. Repeat for reps, do the desired number of sets and move on.
3. Dumbbell Decline Press
This is a really underestimated exercise for your lower pectoral muscles. Of course, the upper chest muscles need to be worked on way more, but the lower ones shouldn’t be disregarded, lest you’re looking to have an unbalanced upper body. To do a dumbbell decline press, take a pair of dumbbells and lie on a decline bench on your back. Your arms should be pointed towards the ceiling and perpendicular to the floor, not the bench. Slowly bring your hands down until you reach your lower chest muscles and then press back up with force until your almost lock out your elbows. Don’t be scared to try new things – your muscles need to be shocked every once in a while instead of just getting used to a routine!
So, if you want to make your chest muscles look like those of Arnold Schwarzenegger, here is a handy workout routine that will pump them up to beautiful proportions. Remember that you can do your decline presses with barbells or a machine, and you can do your one-arm flyes with cables or a pec deck. Either way, you’re going to be breathing new life in your muscles.
- INCLINE BARBELL PRESS for 4 sets, 6-8 reps each.
- DECLINE BARBELL PRESS for 3-4 sets, 8-10 reps each.
- DUMBBELL PULLOVERS for 3-4 sets, 10-12 reps each.
- ONE-ARM DUMBBELL FLYES for 3 sets, 12 reps each.