Chest Exercises Perfect for Bodybuilders
By Ted Rollins
, last updated January 13, 2012
If you want to quickly get that highly sought after sculpted look in your upper body, there's no better way than working out with some of the best chest exercises for bodybuilders. The chest is one of the easiest spots to hit with a tough workout, and it doesn't take a ton of reps to feel the burn. Remember that while you may want to focus on getting a better chest by working it out very often, it's best to only work it out a couple times a week. Pushing it any more often will lead to diminishing returns and potential injury.
Barbell Bench Press
Before starting the exercise, decide how much weight to start with. If you already have a strong upper body, you may want to begin with 135 pounds, which is the total of the barbell plus one 45 pound weight on each side. Lie down on the bench and grip the bar slightly wider than your shoulder width. You may notice small notches in the bar, which will help you center the bar. With your feet flat on the floor, push your back, rear and shoulders into the bench and lift up the barbell.
As you inhale, lower the bar to your chest and pause briefly. Then push the bar back up as you exhale, returning to your starting position. Repeat as desired, but aim for three sets of ten repetitions. As you develop muscle, you'll be able to increase your capacity greatly. As a general rule, more repetitions at lower weights are better for toning, while fewer reps at high weights increase mass.
The fly exercise is hard to do correctly, but once you get the form down you'll really notice a difference in your chest. You’ll want to focus the exercise on the muscles in your chest, as it's easy to shift the weight onto your arms. Lie down on the bench with a slight bend at your elbows, with your arms nearly fully extended above your head. Face your palms in and lower the dumbbells out to your sides as you breath out, keeping your arms slightly hooked so as not to extend at the elbow. Lower your arms down so that you feel the weight fully through your chest, which should happen when your elbows are about parallel to your chest.
Consider using very low weights to begin the exercise so that you can get the form down as a beginner. Doing 3 to 4 sets at 15 to 20 pounds will work wonders for beginners.
Position yourself off the ground on the dip machine so that you support your own weight with your arms. Your arms should be nearly fully extended without being locked. Lean forward so that you feel strain through your chest rather than your triceps, which you'll feel more if you lean back. Lower yourself by bending at the elbow; they'll naturally rotate a bit to the sides, and you'll feel pressure through your upper body. Then push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat as many times as you can, doing 3 to 4 sets each time. If you become very experienced with the chest dip, you may want to add to your natural body weight by wearing a weighted belt.