FOUR EXERCISES TO BUILD UP YOUR PECTORALS

Strong pectorals in just four exercises, really? Julie, Domyos Club coach, has an effective weight training programme to quickly build up your pectorals: bench presses with a bar or dumbbells, dumbbell pullovers, press-ups and cable pulldowns. It's up to you to get strong, well-chiselled pectorals.

 

If you're starting your exercise with free weights, don't hesitate to have someone spot you for safety (assistance during the exercise, help if you need it).

Remember to strengthen your back to help maintain muscle balance and avoid a rounded posture.

 

Exercise 1: Bench press with bar or weights

  • Targeted muscles: mainly the pectorals.

 

  • Performing the exercise: Lie on a bench on your back, with a straight bar between your hands. Place your hands shoulder width apart. Lift your arms over your shoulders. Bend your arms until the bar comes down to your chest. Slowly straighten your arms back up (but don't lock your elbows).

 

  • Breathing: Inhale as you lower your arms and exhale as you raise them.

 

  • Safety tips: To ease pressure and protect your lower back, bend your knees and bring your feet near your buttocks. Choose an appropriate weight for your level.

 

  • Reps: 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 1 minute recovery between sets.

 

Exercise 2: Dumbbell pullovers

  • Targeted muscles: mainly the pectorals and the dorsals.

 

  • Performing the exercise: Lie down on a bench on your back with a dumbbell held with both hands, arms outstretched and perpendicular to the ground. Lower your arms behind your head, keeping your arms straight. Come back to your starting position.

 

  • Breathing: Inhale as you bend your arms and exhale as you lower them.

 

  • Safety tips: Be sure to work on your shoulder flexibility before doing these exercises. Tight shoulders can cause lower back pain. To protect your lower back, keep your knees bent and close to your body. Choose an appropriate weight for your level.

 

  • Reps: 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 1 minute recovery between sets.

 

Exercise 3: Press-ups

  • Targeted muscles: mainly the pectorals and the triceps.

 

  • Performing the exercise: Start on the ground with your toes on the ground and your arms outstretched. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lower your body by bending your arms until you just touch the ground, keeping your abdominals contracted. Return to your starting position by pushing up with your arms. To make the exercise more challenging, do it with the Gain Trainer. Instability gives better results!

 

  • Breathing: Inhale as you bend your arms and exhale as you push back up.

 

  • Safety tips: Keep your abdominals contracted to protect your lower back. Choose the exercise version which best suits your level to do it safely (knees on the ground, raised feet).

 

  • Reps: 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 1 minute recovery between sets.

 

Exercise 4: Cable pulldowns

  • Targeted muscles: mainly the pectorals and the front area of the deltoids.

 

  • Performing the exercise: Stand in the centre of the machine, a grip in each hand, upper body leaning slightly forward and knees slightly bent. Your arms should be outstretched and parallel to the ground. Bend your arms slightly and bring them down towards the ground, crossing your arms at front. Slowly return to your starting position, arms parallel to the ground.

 

  • Breathing: Inhale at the starting position and exhale during the movement.

 

  • Safety tips: Do not go higher than your shoulders. Keep your shoulders down and your back straight. Choose an appropriate weight for your level.

 

  • Reps: 3 sets of 12-15 reps with 1 minute recovery between sets.

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