Amassing a chest worthy of a front cover of a muscle magazine isn’t necessarily the goal we all hold when we bench press, but I doubt many of you will say you are ‘’happy’’ with your chest development – the nature of the beast is such that we always want more, right? If you fit in this category and I almost guarantee you do then this article will help you explore new ways to get the most from bench pressing.
Before we start, we are going to make one thing clear – you must use dumbbells, not barbells for your bench pressing when following the tips below. Partly because it isn’t physically viable to do otherwise and secondly because they work more effectively and stimulating the muscle fibres within the pectoral muscles.
Twist For Growth
The ego lifters amongst you will hate this exercise because instead of throwing the dumbbells up with every rep in one constant plane of movement, there is a twist – literally. During the concentric contraction (pressing portion of the repetition) you must rotate your wrists so that by the time your arms are fully extended your little fingers are touching. What this exercise does is allow for muscle fibre recruitment via a conventional pressing motion, however the addition of a twist helps stimulate muscle fibres which otherwise wouldn’t become engaged. It also helps improve the muscle fibre recruitment during the isometric contraction. Get twisting with a repetition range of 10-12 and once you fail, go into a regular pressing motion to take the muscle beyond failure. Be warned this will BURN!
Whilst utilising an entire range of angles is best for overall chest development at FitMag we believe the best angle is decline! There is a wide misconception that this movement only targets the lower portion of the pectorals, but according to many top trainers including 6 times Mr Olympia, Dorian Yates it hits the entire chest! Combined with special focus on the isometric contraction decline pressing with dumbbells is a sure fire way to force the pecs into a state of growth.
Finish With Partials
The toughest part of any repetition is generally beyond the first 3-4 inches of movement where you are pressing the weight. Once you reach failure moving the weight further than 3-4 inches can become impossible, bringing the set to an end. To increase the amount of tension on the pectoral muscles which will help create better high threshold motor unit stimulation go into partials once you reach failure with dumbbell pressing. Aim for 10 fast partial repetitions to really take the muscle beyond what is normally knows as the ‘’point of failure.’’
What are you waiting for, start implementing these new techniques into your chest routine and get the results you deserve!