If you're looking for effective chest exercises, try adding alternating chest flyes into your chest workout routine.
The flye motion is different from the pressing motion. When doing flyes, the elbows remain stationary and the primary motion is at the shoulders.
The pressing motion emphasizes the chest, shoulders and triceps. However, the chest flye motion will take away emphasis from the triceps and place the majority of the muscle work on the chest and shoulders.
If you perform chest flyes in an alternating fashion you will also get a significant increase in core work and shoulder stability.
Alternating chest flyes are a great way to work your chest and core at the same time.
Here are the instructions.
Starting Position: Lie on a flat bench and hold the dumbbells with your palms facing each other.
Keep your feet facing forwards and firmly on the floor or place your feet on the bench to further increase the stability challenge.
Form: Inhale and slowly lower one dumbbell out to the side until you get to about parallel with your body. Hold for a brief second and then raise that dumbbell back to the starting position. Then, lower the opposite dumbbell.
Repeat for the desired number of reps on each side.
Personal Trainer Tips: Changing your foot placement can also significantly increase the challenge on your core muscles.
Placing your feet on a bench will challenge your core stability more than when your feet are on the floor.
You can further challenge your stability, by lifting your feet off the bench and keeping your hips and knees at 90 degrees. And you can further increase the stability challenge by extending one leg or extending both legs almost to a leg raise position.
Keep Point: The more you challenge your stability, the more the abdominals and lower back muscles must work, which can lead to increased pressure and challenge on the lower back. You should always start with the easiest version and progress only once your master that level.
Use a comfortable shoulder range of motion. The lower you allow your shoulder to move towards the floor the more stress you'll place on the shoulder.
Also, start wit a lower weight than you would normally use for regular chest flyes. This exercise is very challenging on the core and using a super heavy weight might cause you to tip over.
Start with a small range of motion and a lighter weight and once you master that increase the range of motion at the shoulders and increase your weight.
Make sure you engage your core muscles so that your body remains stable throughout, and move in a slow and controlled manner.
If this exercise is too challenging, start with regular chest flyes and build up your core strength by changing your foot placement on that exercise.
You can change many different things about chest exercises and upper body exercises to increase your core stability.
Moving in an alternating fashion will increase core stability, and increasing your core stability can decrease your risk of injury, support improved posture, and increase athletic and functional performance.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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