Aspiring bodybuilders often slack off on training legs, back and even abs, but if there’s one bodypart that’s never neglected, it’s chest. When Monday rolls around, it’s usually time for some sort of flat bench press, then incline presses, dips and dumbbell flyes or cable crossovers.
Why stick to these common chest exercises when so many allow you to attack the pecs from a variety of angles? Here are a few of my favorite underutilized chest moves:
To perform the dumbbell version, lie perpendicular on a flat bench with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Grasp one end of a dumbbell with both hands (fingers overlapping and arms extended) and begin with the weight over your chest. Lower the dumbbell in an arc overhead until you feel a good stretch in your pecs. Contract your chest to bring the weight back up.
People do flyes and crossovers all the time, but almost always using both arms. Doing flyes with one arm, however, focuses all of your attention on one side. I always felt that one-arm flyes helped balance my development.
For a one-arm dumbbell flye, lie face-up on a flat bench holding only one weight. Grasp the edge of the bench with your nonworking hand for stability. Begin with your working arm extended toward the ceiling. Lower the weight in an arc out to the side, keeping only a slight bend in your elbow, until you feel a stretch on that side of your chest. Contract you pec to return to the start position. Repeat for reps, then switch arms.
DUMBBELL DECLINE PRESS
I can’t believe this exercise isn’t used more often on chest day. Sure, the upper chest usually needs more work than the lower pecs, but ignoring the latter can lead to a major deficiency in your upper-body appearance.
Grasp a pair of dumbbells and lie face-up on a decline bench. Begin with your arms extended toward the ceiling and perpendicular to the floor. Lower the weights to just outside your lower pecs, then press them back up forcefully until your elbows are just short of lockout.
The bottom line: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Varying from a steady diet of the same old, same old can result in new growth.
PEC PUNISHER WORKOUT
Break up the monotony of your chest workouts wuth these oft-ignored exercises.
- Incline Barbell Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 6-8
- Decline Barbell Press* | SETS: 3-4 | REPS: 8-10
- Dumbbell Pullover | SETS: 3-4 | REPS: 10-12
- One-Arm Dumbbell Flye* | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12
*Decline presses and pullovers can also be done with a barbell or machine; one-arm flyes can also be performed with cables or on a pec-deck machine.