Tar­get zone

This month, ex­pert trainer Jean-Claude Va­cassin, owner of W10 Per­for­mance Gyms, shows you how to work your chest mus­cles even harder

Health & Fitness - - Welcome - Per­sonal trainer Jean-Claude Va­cassin owns W10 Per­for­mance gyms in Lon­don. He has ad­vised ath­letes, sports brands and film com­pa­nies, as well as work­ing in nu­tri­tion, func­tional medicine and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Visit w10per­for­manc­e­gym.com.

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.

A B

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