Everyone is interested in a big chest. Big pecs indicate a powerful person, and they make you look good with your shirt on or off. The most popular exercise for the chest is the bench press. However, while the bench press is a good exercise for the pecs, it’ s not that great. It’ s easy to cheat on the bench press, bouncing the weight off of your chest and straining with a heavier weight than you should be using, just to impress other I can tell you from experience that this results in injured shoulders and backs, and is really not isolating and working the pec muscles as much as you might think!

Pushups are a great exercise for the chest. You may not think this sounds very glamorous or effective, in which case I challenge you to work up to three sets of twenty five pushups with a 60 second max break in between each set. When you can do three sets of twenty-five in good form, you’ ll have an awesome upper body all around, not just the chest (assuming you eat right, rest, and don’ t otherwise overtrain). However, for most people, I recommend you stick to my two set routine.

When you perform a pushup, your back should be straight, in other words, your butt should not be sticking up into the air, nor should it be sagging. Your hands should be at the level of your shoulders, or maybe a little behind your shoulders toward your nipples, and just a little wider than shoulder width apart. Do your first set slowly, performing as many as you can. On the second set, do very slow partials. Move up and down just a few inches, keeping your chest six to eight inches of off the ground.

If you are strong enough, you can graduate to pushups between chairs or similar objects. Position three chairs in a triangle, one for each hand to rest on and the third for your feet. Have patience… it may take a few tries to get the chairs positioned right. Place a hand on the seat of each chair, and your feet on the seat of the third. Do your pushups in between the chairs, so that you can lower your chest below the level of your hands. Go slowly and carefully at first and take care not to have the chairs for your hands spread too widely, or you may strain your shoulders.

A further variation is to perform the pushups with your feet higher than the rest of your body. Your feet can be on a table, or they can be on a chair and your hands can be on something lower, like sturdy boxes or bricks. Again, be patient in designing your setup. With your feet higher than the rest of your body, the resistance, and thus the muscle building potential of the exercise, is increased dramatically. Dips are another great chest exercise. Dips are just as good as, if not better, for the chest than bench presses, and they build tremendous all around upper body strength, especially in the triceps and shoulders.

In a gym there is usually a dipping station or a set of parallel bars. To do dips, you jump up with a hand on each bar and hold yourself in the air with your arms locked straight. You may have to bend your knees to keep your feet off of the ground, depending on the height of the bars. Now, bend your arms slightly, allowing your body to fall a bit, then push yourself back up. Depending on how strong you are, you can lower your body or “ dip” lower and lower each time. However, if you have never done dips before, you won’ t be able to go too far down at first.

At home, you can often find great substitutes for parallel bars. If you have two sturdy chairs, try placing them back to back about three feet apart. Make sure the design of the chairs is such that they won’ t tip. Place a folded cloth or towel on the tops of the backs to pad your hands if necessary, then try dipping between the chairs. Sometimes a countertop and a chair will work, even if they aren’ t exactly the same height, or anything else you may have around your house, yard or farm.

You can do “ negative” dips if you are not yet strong enough to do them as described above. All you do is jump up to the locked arm position, then SLOWLY lower yourself to the count of ten, resisting the whole time. Jump back up and repeat four or five times. Then rest for a few days. After a week or two of this you should be able to crank out a few good dips (unless, perhaps, you are overweight). Negatives can also be used as a second set, after doing the exercise the standard way.

Both pushups and dips really work your triceps. If you are going at these exercises really hard, you may need little or no triceps work, especially at first. If you ever reach a point where your triceps are not growing even though you are doing particular exercises for them, you may want to stop performing the tricep exercise altogether and simply concentrate on dips or pushups, maybe adding a third set or a third set of negatives or partials. You may be surprised to see your triceps grow, due to the fact that they were being overtrained before.

Dumbbell flies are a third great chest exercise. To do “flies” for your chest, you lay on a bench with a weight or dumbbell in each hand, held with your arms straight up over your chest. Now, allow your arms to drop slowly out and down, as if you were spreading your arms to give someone a big hug, Allow your arms to bend slightly at the elbow. Lower your arms as far as comfortable then raise them to the beginning position and repeat. If you don’ t have dumbbells, you can find possibly find some other objects to use. Just make sure they are objects that you can hold securely in your hands.

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Legs Exercises