What guy doesn’t love to work his chest? For men, having a large chest has long been seen as a sign of dominance. Just like gorillas love to go around beating their chest, men with big chests feel superior to all of those around them. But a big chest won’t build itself! It takes a lot of time and effort to build large chest muscles, and you have to put in the time every week. Here are some simple ways to increase the effectiveness of your chest workout:
Add a Plyo Ball
Also known as a medicine ball, a Plyo Ball can help to engage your core and increase the difficulty of your workout. You can place your hands on the Plyo Ball, and do push-ups while maintaining the balance on the ball–it’s much harder than you think! Or, you can try a “Plyo Depth Push-Up”, an explosive movement that will help to develop the fast twitch muscle fibers–the ones that grow the most. Place your hands on the floor and the Plyo Ball beneath your chest, drop into the push-up, and once you feel the Plyo Ball touching your chest, explode upward to place your hands on the Plyo Ball. That’s one set, now repeat!
Climb a Rope
Rope climbing doesn’t only work your chest–in fact, it places a lot of emphasis on your back, biceps, and forearms. But, if you do throw in a bit of rope climbing, it will work your chest in a whole new way. It will hit your pecs from a new angle, reducing your risk of tendinosis (caused by doing a lot of bench pressing). Spend more time climbing ropes, and you’ll give your body a much more varied workout, leading to better overall fitness.
Use a Cambered Bar
You usually see people doing bicep curls with cambered bars, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used for your bench press! The fact that the cambered bar has an uneven surface means that more of your secondary and stabilizing muscles are used, increasing the amount of effort that goes into each bench press. You’ll need to use less weight, but it’s a great way to up the difficulty level of your bench presses. You can get a greater range of motion thanks to this simple chest-building exercise!
Widen Your Grip
When you perform a bench press, you’re probably gripping the barbell at slightly more than shoulder width apart. This is the ideal way to engage your arms and chest, ensuring that you can lift as much weight as possible. But did you know that sliding your hands out just a bit more could be the key to a larger chest? By widening your grip, you take your triceps out of the equation. All of the weight rests on your chest muscles, so they have to work double time in order to push the barbell back up. For a maximum efficiency bench press, try widening your grip a little.
Fix Your Fly Form
How are you performing your flys? When you open your chest, do you allow your shoulder blades to roll forward? This can shorten the chest muscles, reducing their efficiency and placing more of the weight on your shoulders. Instead, make sure to pull your shoulder blades back when you perform dumbbell flys. Get in the fly position (lying flat face up on the bench), and consciously roll your shoulders backward. Only then should you perform the exercise, now that you have the form just right.