The bench press is really a pretty remarkable exercise. It works for most people. Perhaps it gives the most gain to those who have a fairly shallow rib cage. With them, the bar has a great distance to travel and thus effects a great stretch of the pectorals, while a barrel-chested person, due to the size of their chest, may not be able to lower the bar very far, but that is not always the case.
The beauty of the bench press is that it is performed from a very comfortable and stable position, lying on your back, face up. After you get used to it, you do not have to concern yourself with balance or performance difficulty. As a result, and because the belly of the pectorals and triceps is involved, your strength and development grow when you practice the bench press regularly.
Although the bench press can build a pretty good all-round chest, one should be aware of the other chest exercises that can help to balance your chest development. The bench press may not do it all for you. In fact, it probably wont. You will be rewarded, however, if you vary the width of your hand spacing when you bench press. Wide hand spacing puts the exercise stress on the outer part of the pectoral. A medium grip will hit the middle part of the chest, and a narrow grip will develop the inner pectorals.
As you lower the weight, you activate whatever area is in line with the bar. If you lower the bar to your lower chest, you will work the lower chest. Bring the weight to the middle of your pecs, and that is where you will stimulate most growth. Lower the bar to the upper chest for upper pec development. Naturally, there is some spill over effect. Even though you are working for development in one area, bear in mid other parts of the pectorals will also be stimulated.
When sculpting your pectorals, bear in mind that incline presses with a barbell or dumbbells will work the upper chest. Flyes work the outer pecs. Regular dips involve the lower pectorals, but if the dipping bars are moved out to 28 34 inches, then you will work the upper and outer area of the pectorals.
Pullovers help the rib cage, but do not expect any dramatic rib cage expansion. Expansion will eventually take place, but only within the framework of your skeletal genetics. As with other exercises, you must try to forget the aspect of hoisting up the weight. Bouncing, twisting, lifting the hips from the bench, in order to get the weight up is not the best way to build great pecs. On the contrary, you should use the weight correctly as a tool to achieve your goal.
One of the greatest errors when chest training, is lack of concentration. Its so important to flex the pectoral muscles throughout the movements. Another mistake is to follow someone elses routine set for set without concern for the particular needs of your own body. Finally, always remember to stretch the pectorals fully. After your first warm up sets, you can really bring out the arms and fully extend the motion affecting the pectorals. In most cases, the use of dumbbells allows for more of a stretch than the use of barbells.
The following is a list of the best chest exercises to provide you with both width and growth, they have been tried and tested throughout the ages and you just cannot go wrong if performed correctly. For detailed descriptions of each exercise please visit the Smart Physical Workout website.
Bench Press for overall Pectoral area, known as the king of exercises, the bench press can be tailored to any part of the pectoral muscle.
Parallel Bar Dips - A wonderful chest movement, especially if the bars are set fairly wide apart.
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, start by lying on an incline bench set at 35 to 40 degree angle.
Flat Bench Press with Dumbbells mid chest area, lie on your back and hold two dumbbells with your arms fully extended at right angles to the floor.
Supine flying for outer pectorals, years ago this exercise was done very rigidly with light weights on the floor.
Incline flyes for upper and outer chest; adopt a secure position on an incline bench.
Decline bench press with dumbbells, works the lower chest.
Incline barbell bench press for the upper chest
Cable crossover for overall chest, this is a specialised exercise.
Incorporate any of all these exercises in your routine, mix and match as you like, as these exercises are proven if you want to get or enhance your pectoral area for impressiveness.