Bryant doing an explosive pushup at LA Fitness - BContinuing to progress and introduce new exercise variations is an essential part of any fitness routine, especially your chest! After you’ve implemented the exercises from How to Create a Complete Chest Routine – (Part 1 – Basic Chest Exercises)of this you’ll probably want to introduce some more advanced exercises after a few weeks. This will help you to keep the progress ball rolling as you work to strengthen, tone and define your chest muscles.

Keep in mind, that while many of these new exercises are remarkably similar to the previous ones, they have slight variations that can make a big difference in your progress. The following exercises will help activate the muscles in your chest in a new and different way, which helps speed progress and deter adaptation.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

  1. You will need to find the adjustable-bench and position it at a 45 to 60 degree incline.
  2. With a dumbbell in each hand, sit on the bench and rest the dumbbells on your thighs to support their weight.
  3. Then, lay back on the bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  4. Raise the dumbbells to your upper-chest in a controlled fashion.
  5. Push the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended. The dumbbells should be parallel to each other and close but not touching each other. (Remember to exhale when pushing them up)
  6. Lower the dumbbells in a slow and controlled manner back down to their starting position as you inhale.
  7. Repeat.

Extra tip: Resist the temptation to over-arch your lower back. This can make the exercise less effective and possibly hazardous to your lower back. If you cannot stay in proper form simply stop, rest and do another set.

Extra tip:  Avoid “clinking” the weights together at the top or full extension of the lift. This will help you to maintain control throughout the exercise.

Extra tip: If this is your first time doing this exercise or using dumbbells, then begin with a lightweight pair that you are certain you can safely use as you learn.

Explosive Push-Up

  1. You will need to find an open area where you can safely situate your entire body as you spread out in a push-up position.
  2. Lie face down, in a prone position, on the floor with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your legs straight.
  3. While keeping your toes on the floor, push your body up with enough force to elevate your torso, arms and hands beyond the height of a normal push-up and off of the ground. Think of it almost as if you were jumping off the ground with your arms.
  4. When coming down catch your body at the top of the push-up position, with your elbows slightly bent, and gradually slow your momentum as you lower your body in a controlled manner.
  5. Repeat

Extra tip: When coming down it is important to control the momentum this exercise creates so you don’t hit the ground.

Extra tip: Keep your body flat, in proper form and postural alignment throughout this entire exercise just as you would a normal push-up.

Extra tip: If you feel you are getting too tired to control the exercise simply stop, rest and do another set.

Cable Crossovers

  1. You will need to find a cable pulley machine and attach the single-armed handles to each side if it is not already equipped this way.
  2. Set each pulley in at the same height, slightly higher than your shoulders.
  3. Grab the handles to where your upper-body is stretched into a “T” formation.
  4. Pull the weight in front of you with a slightly downward angle and cross the right hand over the left to perform the exercise.
  5. Reverse your motion and slowly lower the weight back down in a controlled manner.
  6. Repeat. But this time cross the left hand over the right.
  7. Continue alternating throughout the entire set.

Extra Tip: Many people tend to bend their elbows too much during this exercise which can take some of the emphasis off of the chest muscles. Remember to keep your elbows in a slightly bent position throughout the entire exercise without any additional bend as you complete the motion.

Extra tip: Plant one leg in front of the other with a slight forward lean in order to establish leverage, stabilize your body and keep the exercise focused on your chest. Alternate your front foot each set.

Extra tip: If you feel you are getting too tired to control the exercise simply stop, rest and do another set.

By incorporating these exercises into your chest routine you can take the next step towards building your ideal chest. Perform them for 4-6 weeks and you’ll be strutting your stuff like a peacock in no time.

Tune back in for Part 3 of this chest exercise series to continue working towards your perfect chest!

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