It seems like every other article in a fitness magazine has some “new chest routine.”
It’s hard to find anything that has not been tried in an attempt to increase muscle mass. When looking to stimulate new muscle fibers and breathe life in to muscles that are tired of pushing weight, think new angle, new position, or new range of motion. These unique chest exercises may be just what you’re looking for.
As any good scientist will tell you, there is always rationale behind the exercise selection and for those listed here it is sane and thought through. Most importantly, the change in body position and increased ranges of motion should activate new fibers as well as stimulate old ones. The challenge of trying something different should also give you some new goals.
Incorporating These New Exercises
Ready to take that leap of faith? It is dropping your bench press on the day you perform these exercises.
No, that wasn’t a typo. Yes, I know what I am asking. But if you continue to bench press, cheat and find ways to muscle the weight up, you won’t get those failing muscles to fire when you bring them over to the new exercises. If you must bench, bench after. Ideally, you should give all of these exercises a go, but if not, incorporate 2 or 3 at a time.
Pec Fly Press
Using a pair of dumbbells and a flat bench, set up like a normal pec fly. Instead of taking your arms out wide, take them backwards, flaring out your elbows, keeping your forearms vertical and into a wide bench press position and accentuate the stretch on the chest. On the concentric, pull your arms together like a normal DB fly.
Incline Cable Fly
Roll a bench up to the adjustable pulley and set the pulley low. Perform the cable fly like you would with a pair of dumbbells and experiment with angles and range.
Underhand Low Cable Cross Over
Opposite to a standing cable cross where your arms start up above your head, start with the pulleys down low and arms down and out to your sides at 45 degrees. Lock your elbows and then start the motion up, traveling across your body and finishing the movement with your arms straight out in front at shoulder height.
Wide Hand Box Push-Up
Find 3 boxes, balls or some kind of platform so that your hands and feet can be elevated off the ground. Put your hands out as wide as possible. Perform deep push-ups so your chest goes deeper than your hands. Add weight if needed by placing a plate on your back. Experiment with hand position to get the greatest range of motion.
Train for Gain
As I have written numerous times, train with a purpose. Realize that your weaknesses and hard-gaining issues may be a result of your lack of dedication and perfecting technique. Don’t worry about how much you are lifting, rather, how many ways you can activate your pec muscle fibers and how the increased range of motion will add size in the long run. Below are 5 general techniques that will help with all pec exercises, including theses unique chest exercises.
5 Tips for Punishing Your Pecs
1. Accentuate the squeeze at the top of the movement to get all your pec fibers firing.
2. Don’t bounce at the bottom or use momentum to pull the weight back up. If the weight is too heavy, lighten the load slightly.
3. Don’t let your elbows get too get close to your sides or the exercise will take the focus from the pecs and move it to the triceps. Maintain at least a 45 degree armpit angle.
4. For maximum strength, drive your back in to the bench to force the weight up. As the dumbbells continue upward, press your upper back in to the bench round to increase your range of motion.
5. Go for a full range of motion by letting your elbows come down as far as possible.