Did you know that building your chest muscles reduces the chances that you will get diabetes? Did you know that elderly people are affected more by weak muscles than a weak heart in their daily activities and lifting weights can really help them?
I don’t know if you knew these things, but I’m pretty sure that you’re not reading this article because lifting weights has health benefits. You’re probably reading this article because you want to look good. And feel good. And impress the other people who work out at your gym. In short, you want to be a stud with a bigger chest.
I’m guessing that most people who are reading this article are men, but women can also benefit from chest exercises. The end of this blog will have tips for women, but let’s start with tips for men because they’re more interested in building their chest muscles. The tips include:
Lifting dumbbells will help you build your chest muscles better than barbells because you have a better range of motion when you use them. The Muscle & Fitness article “5 Steps To Strong, Chiseled Pecs” also says that dumbbells force your muscles to work harder. More intense activity builds muscles faster.
Lift at Different Angles
You might already know about the bench press exercise, which requires you to lie flat on your back as you lift weights. Tilting the bench at various angles, though, will make your exercises more effective. A common angle is 45 degrees.
Stretch Your Muscles
You might know that you need to stretch before you run. You also need to stretch your chest muscles before doing strenuous chest exercises. The WebMD article “Chest Exercises to Help Tone and More” recommends stretching your chest muscles while you’re standing in a doorway with your arms outstretched. When you step forward and hold this position for at least 30 seconds you will feel a pull in your pectoralis muscle.
Do These Dumbbell Exercises
“Pump Up Your Pecs,” an article in Men’s Fitness, recommends five exercises to build your chest muscles. Four of them involve the use of dumbbells. The dumbbell chest press requires you to lift one dumbbell with each arm while your arms are far apart. The magazine recommends lifting the dumbbells eight times (reps) and doing this exercise four times (sets) during your workout. Another exercise is the hex press. In this exercise, the two dumbbells are practically touching each other as you lift them while lying on a bench. Three sets of 10 reps each are recommended.
Incline Exercises With Dumbbells
Lying on a bench at a 30 to 45 degree angle, do the incline dumbbell flye exercise. It requires holding one dumbbell with each arm over your head, spreading your arms, and then bringing the weights back together. Do three sets of 12 reps each. The other recommended dumbbell incline exercise is the elevated pushup. Your legs should be on a bench behind you. Your arms should be in the pushup position, but your hands should be gripping dumbbells. Raise and lower your body. Men’s Fitness recommends three sets of elevated pushups with as reps as possible.
Other exercises that are recommended by exercise experts for building your chest muscles include the bench press with a barbell, the inclined bench press with a barbell, elevated pushups without holding dumbbells, and conventional pushups.
As for women, here are two tips. The first tip is that women who just had a baby or are overweight should be more interested in chest exercises, according to the WebMD article. Chest exercises can help a sagging chest and doesn’t build bulk, the article reports. The second tip is that the best exercise might be the single-arm dumbbell chest press. “The Best Chest Exercise for Women,” an article in Women’sHealth magazine, reports that women should do this exercise with one arm and then the other.
Yes, building your chest muscles helps men and women. Chest exercises make them stronger and better looking. And, in case you’re wondering, they reduce your risk of diabetes because stronger and more active chest muscles improve your metabolism and, thus, burn glucose more efficiently.