The Little Black Book of Chest Exercises
Everybody loves chest day, especially if it’s Monday. Break out of the bench-press pack with 6 variations of common chest exercises that’ll help add pounds of new muscle on your pecs.
Incline Cable Flye
POWER POINTER: You might think this is the same as an incline dumbbell flye, but since the angle of pull comes from the sides, this is actually a more challenging version and it’ll hit your pecs differently as well.
TARGET AREA: Upper pecs (inner and outer regions)
IN YOUR ROUTINE: Do single-joint movements last in your chest routine after your heavy presses. Do three sets of 10–15 reps.
BEST SUBSTITUTE: Low-pulley cable crossover
INTENSITY BOOSTER: Do a drop set: After you reach muscle failure with a given weight, reduce the poundage by about 25% and continue repping to failure.
SET-UP: Wheel an adjustable bench over to the cable apparatus and set it up centered between the posts. Push it forward so that your shoulders (when seated) align with the lower pulleys. Attach D-handles to the lower pulleys.
POSITION: Lie back squarely on the bench, feet flat and wide on the floor for stability. With a D-handle in each hand, slightly bend your elbows and lock them in this position for the duration of the set.
FORM: As you raise and lower the weights, the degree of bend in your elbows shouldn’t change throughout the set. If you’re “pressing” the weights you lose the isolation effect. Think of hugging a big tree; the bend in your elbows should be locked throughout.
GRIP: Your hands should face forward, up and in throughout the range of motion.
EXECUTION: Contract your pecs to bring your arms together above and in front of you, holding the peak contraction for a count. Allow the weight to slowly pull your arms along the same path back to the start position. Don’t overstretch your shoulders in the bottom position.