This month, expert trainer Jean-Claude Vacassin, owner of W10 Performance Gyms, shows you how to work your chest muscles even harder
Challenge your chest muscles.
1. DB FLYES
BENEFITS: The DB flye will shape and develop your chest muscles. Doing it on an incline bench means you target the upper part of your chest.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie on an incline bench that’s set to an angle of no more than 30°.
Extend your arms, keeping a slight bend at your elbows (A). Rotate your wrists so the palms of your hands are facing you. Slowly lower your arms out to the sides, keeping them extended, and rotating your wrists until your palms are facing each other (B).
As you exhale, start to bring the dumbbells back up to the starting position by reversing the motion and rotating your hands so your pinky fingers are next to each other again.
2. ARCHER PUSH-UP
Benefits: This is an ‘assisted’ version of a single-arm push-up that allows you to train with much greater intensity than the normal push-up does. It works your arms, chest, shoulders and core.
Assume a push-up position (A), then extend one arm out to your side so it’s perpendicular to your body and only your fingertips touch the floor.
Squeeze your glutes and quads, and brace your core. Maintain these contractions for the entire movement. Don’t let your hips sag.
Bend your working arm and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor (B). Pause, and push yourself back up. Try to use your extended arm as little as possible. Swap arms and repeat (C).
3. DB BENCH PRESS
Benefits: This variation offers some benefits not available with other chest exercises. You challenge your chest and shoulder muscles, and dumbbells allow a large range of movement and activate numerous stabilising muscles.
Lie on your back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms straight up in front of your shoulders (A).
Rotate your wrists forward so that your palms are facing away from you. Bring the dumbbells down slowly to the sides of your chest (B), so your upper arm and forearm create a 45° angle.
As you breathe out, use your chest to push the dumbbells up. Lock your arms at the top of the lift and squeeze your chest, hold for a second, then begin coming down slowly.
4. FEET-ELEVATED PUSH-UP
Benefits: Elevating your feet intensifies the work on your upper body/core. The higher the platform, the more you’ll work your shoulders, chest, core and other stabilising muscles.
Get into a high plank position, with your feet on a block or step. Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under your shoulders (A).
Keeping your back flat and eyes focused three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck, lower your body, until your chest grazes the floor (B).
Push back up slowly.