These are your desert island chest exercises. If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only do four exercises for your chest (sure, it makes no sense… go with it), then these four are the ones you should pick. The following four movements will see you through your pec training and if these were the only exercises you used to build a big chest… these would do the trick!
Incline Dumbbell Press
The incline dumbbell press is a move that has a lot going for it. Not only are you targeting the tops of those pecs for that great-looking definition but you’re also using dumbbells rather than bars, which forces you to stay symmetrical and prevents one pec from picking up the slack.
Some sportsmen say that they like to go hard right at the start of their workouts. Instead of trying to pace themselves. The objective is not to lift in order to complete X number of sets – the goal is to fatigue the muscles and the faster you can do that the better!
The hammer press for those who haven’t got one at the gym is a chest press machine except it uses large weight plates instead of a cable. You can use a chest press machine instead if you prefer. Either way, this is a move that allows you to completely isolate the pecs and which lets you easily increase and decrease the weights for various drop sets, supersets, and more.
Incline Rest/Pause Dumbbell Pec Flyes
Next up are incline rest/pause dumbbell pec flyes. This means you’re back on the incline bench to really keep hitting the tops of the pecs. At the same time, you’re performing a fly motion to work through the pecs’ entire range of motion.
The rest/pause aspect means that you’re going to be pausing on the outwards portion of the movement. This adds in an eccentric isometric contraction – in other words, you’re tensing the muscle and keeping it there when it’s out-stretched. This prevents cheating and removes the momentum so that you aren’t ‘bouncing’ the weight up and down. At the same time, though, it has also been shown to be highly effective at stimulating hypertrophy in its own right.
Once you can do no more pec flyes, you can jump straight on the pec deck. This is the same movement but in a much more controlled manner that will better isolate the pecs. This is what you call a ‘mechanical drop set’ – you’re dropping straight from one exercise to another that’s slightly easier. It’s like a drop set with weights except that it’s the mechanical aspect of the movement that’s changing instead.
So there you go, four very effective ‘desert island’ pec exercises. So what are the four chest moves that you couldn’t live without? Let us know in the comments below!