Bench Press

Bench Press

I hate to say it, but I’m not a fan of the Bench Press exercise. But, it’s such a popular exercise, that I couldn’t ignore it. Here’s why I don’t like it:

  1. It supports your back because you have to lie down on a bench to perform it.  This is very non-functional. This is not the way you would perform a pushing motion in real life. Push ups and standing cable chest presses force you to push without back support.
  2. You don’t have to use our core as much. Since your back is supported, you don’t have to work your core muscles as mush.
  3. The bar doesn’t force you to use as many muscles as dumbbells and cables so.  Dumbbell Chest Presses and certainly TRX Chest Presses use much more muscles.

I really wish the Bench Press was not so tied into standard strength measurements of athletes like football players. Really, even football players never push opponents with something supporting their backs. So, why test them this way?

In addition to this exercise, you can see more at List of Exercises by Body Part. Remember, an exercise is only as good as the workout program it is part of. Make sure you check out Best Exercises Programs.

 

Description

  • Lie on a bench with your eyes directly under the bar
  • Grip the bar at a width that will maintain your hands directly above your shoulders as you lower the weight.
  • Inhale as you slowly lower the weights toward your chest
  • Lower the bar until your elbows are just lower than your shoulders
  • Exhale as you slowly raise the weights back to the starting postition
  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions or until fatigued

Check out the List of Exercises by Body Part.

Standing Cable Chest Press

Standing Cable Chest Press

The Standing Cable Chest Press is one of the very best upper body ans specifically chest exercises there is. The reason is because unlike the bench press or dumbbell chest press, our back is not against and supported by a bench. This means that you must use your core muscles to accomplish the exercise. Additionally, the standing cable chest press puts you in the position you would be in if you actually had to press. Think about it, when would you ever have the luxury of having your back supported as you press something?  Also, the free-moving cables mean that you will use more muscle to move them in the right direction. And, more muscle means more energy used, calories spent, and metabolism raised. It’s a great exercise!  In addition to this exercise, you can see more at List of Exercises by Body Part. Remember, an exercise is only as good as the workout program it is part of. Make sure you check out Best Exercises Programs.


Description

  • Have cables adjusted so that they are at shoulder height or just above
  • Hold handles at chest height
  • With elbows out, hands should be even with elbows
  • Exhale as you press out until elbows are almost fully extended
  • Inhale as you return to the starting position
  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions or until fatigued

Check out the List of Exercises by Body Part.

TRX Triceps Press

TRX Triceps Press

TRX Triceps Press, or TRX triceps extensions are one of the very best triceps exercises. In fact, it uses more muscle than some of the other great triceps exercises on my List of Exercises. Like push ups, it is a great exercise because anytime you are moving your body instead of moving an object in your hands, you are using more muscle and using more energy.  They are made even more superior because the handles of the TRX system also move freely. This requires even more muscles to activate in order to stabilize you. Although they require the TRX system, the equipment is light and portable so they can also be done anywhere. Besides this exercise, you can see more at List of Exercises by Body Part. Remember, an exercise is only as good as the workout program it is part of. Make sure you check out Best Exercises Programs.

 

Description

  • Place both hands in the handles
  • Estimate the the proper placement for the feet to give you the correct amount of gravity resistance. Remember, the farther forward the feet, the easier the exercise will be and vice versa. Be conservative in your estimate. You can always make it harder if needed.
  • Put yourself in the up-position of a push up
  • Keeping your elbows forward, slowly lower your body by allowing your hands to move to the side of your face
  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions or until fatigued

Check out the List of Exercises by Body Part.

TRX Push Ups

TRX Push Ups

TRX Push Ups, or TRX Chest Presses are definitely the overall best and most effective exercise for the chest. In fact it’s probably the most effective upper body exercise there is. The only reason it’s not on my 5 Best Exercises Overall list is because it requires equipment. Aside from that, it’s even better than push ups. Like push ups, it is a superior exercise because anytime you are moving your body instead of moving an object in your hands, you are using more muscle and using more energy. For example, performing a bench press doesn’t use as much muscle because your torso is supported by a bench during the exercise. The reason TRX Push Ups are even more superior is because the handles of the TRX system also move freely. This requires even more muscles to activate in order to stabilize you. Although they require the TRX system, the equipment is light and portable so they can also be done anywhere. Besides this exercise, you can see more at List of Exercises by Body Part. Remember, an exercise is only as good as the workout program it is part of. Make sure you check out Best Exercises Programs.


Description

  • Place both hands in the handles
  • Estimate the the proper placement for the feet to give you the correct amount of gravity resistance. Remember, the farther forward the feet, the easier the exercise will be and vice versa. Be conservative in your estimate. You can always make it harder if needed.
  • Put yourself in the up-position of a push up
  • Slowly lower your body as in the down-phase of a push up
  • Be careful to not let your arms go wider than you would in a push up
  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions or until fatigued

Check out the List of Exercises by Body Part.

Triceps Pushdowns

Triceps Pushdowns

Triceps Pushdowns, or Triceps Push Downs are a very common triceps exercise performed in health clubs. This is because they are very easy to do and also very effective for stressing the triceps muscle group. Like the Dumbbell Triceps Extensions, they are a favored triceps exercise because they don’t put the shoulder in an unsafe position like some triceps exercises do, for example standing overhead triceps extensions. In addition to this exercise, you can see more at List of Exercises by Body Part. Remember, an exercise is only as good as the workout program it is part of. Make sure you check out Best Exercises Programs.


Description

  • Stand at a overhead cable station
  • A variety of hand grips can be used. I prefer a rope, but a straight bar or angled handle       will suffice
  • Hold the grip with arms fully flexed at the elbow.
  • Exhale as you slowly push down on the bar (or pull down on the rope) until just before full extension of the elbows 
  • Inhale as you slowly let the weights raise back up to starting position
  • Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions or until fatigued

Check out the List of Exercises by Body Part.