The pectoral muscles are one of my favorite muscle groups to train. From a standard barbell bench press to well-designed pieces such as Hammer Strength that precisely engage the pectoral muscles from different isolated angles, there are an array of different exercises from which to choose. There is a variety of excellent chest equipment that exists today that wasn’t available years ago. I enjoy training chest every which way I can, but I still really revel in the basic simplicity of the occasional workout in which I focus only on dumbbell movements. Dumbbells allow for slightly varied wrist angles that can provide a different form of isolation as well as comfort for those who deal with chronic shoulder or elbow discomfort from strained tendons and ligaments. It’s a good method of rehabilitation for an injury, allowing for continued training rather than having to be completely sidelined to rest a nagging injury.
Dumbbells for better isolation.
I personally enjoy the different angles for particular isolation of the pectoral muscles, including inverting the dumbbells at the top of the pressing movement. This engages the muscle in such a way that a secondary contraction occurs resulting in additional isolated stress to the pecs. This added dumbbell inversion can be applied in every bench angle for each pressing motion: flat bench, decline bench and incline bench. I recommend trying this method with a weight that you can press comfortably for 12 repetitions, but beginning failing at 15 reps. So, you’ll perform a basic pressing motion until you have reached the full contracted position with your palms facing away from your head. Then, invert the dumbbells, twisting your wrists inward until your palms are facing your head. Finally, return to the initial contracted position and lower the dumbbells. Then proceed in this manner for the additional repetitions.
Here is an Introductory Dumbbell Workout for your next chest day:
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: 2 sets x 15 reps
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press: 2 sets x 15 reps
Decline Bench Dumbbell Press: 2 sets x 15 reps
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye: 2 sets x 15 reps
Incline Bench Dumbbell Flye: 2 sets x 15 reps
Decline Bench Dumbbell Flye: 2 sets x 15 reps
Bonus: Finish with 4 sets of 50 push-ups (200 push-ups total)