9 Chest Work Tricks
What to do when the breast training lose its former effectiveness? It's time to think about the training methods that you neglected.
Author: Bill Geiger
If you are like most guys, you never contract your breasts. This applies to everything – volume, frequency, techniques of high-intensity training like forced repetitions and drop-sets. And you are always ready to try a new exercise to spur further muscle growth.
But the fact that heavy breast training has already become a part of your DNA does not guarantee their maximum effectiveness. I have identified nine indispensable methods for pumping the breast mass, which many underestimate. And in vain, because if you spend so much effort on the development of pectoral muscles, you need to use all possible tools.
We are not here to discuss the role of bench press in the paradigm of development of pectoral muscles. But if you, like many people, constantly begin training on the bench, most likely, you have long trampled on the training plateau. All because the efficiency of exercise decreases over time, the concept is called "diminishing returns." If you do not make any changes, this can happen with any exercise of your training plan.
There are several ways to introduce into your workout the variety that is enough to maintain a stable muscle growth. The most obvious choice is to use dumbbells. Not only because each side will work independently, but also because of the increased working range of the pectoral muscles. In the long run, the dumbbell option is safer for the shoulder joints.
The second choice is to periodically do a bench press on the horizontal bench under the curtain of the training session. This will make it possible to perform other exercises with a large reserve of energy and raise more weight, and it does not matter which movement will go first. For example, if the upper parts of the pectoral muscles lag behind, instead of 100 kg on a bench with a positive slope, you can squeeze 115 kg if you put this exercise first. This will be an excellent anabolic stimulus for the upper sections of the pectoral muscles, which have long worked with less impact.
Consider that when you do a bench press on the horizontal bench at the end of the workout, the forces will be no longer the same. Do not try to put the usual working weight and complete the same number of repetitions. By the way, here you can use the simulators, in which you do not need to balance a heavy shell.
Most powerlifters, when it comes to bench press, think the stereotype is tilt up / tilt down / horizontal bench. The same principle of killing profitability is applicable to a press with positive and negative slopes, not only to horizontal. But everything can be changed.
Look closely at the benches with the inclination up and down. On both you can deal with dumbbells (presses or information) or in the simulator of Smith. You probably have a favorite position of the bench. Approaching the simulator, you automatically expose this position, forgetting that there are a lot of intermediate positions, which can also be used.
For example, you can set a positive slope at a small, medium or steep angle. Each position slightly changes the degree of involvement of the musculature of the breast, and it concerns not only the upper divisions of the pectoral, but also the anterior deltas. By analogy, you can use all the options for negative slope, slightly changing the steepness of the bench.
To optimize the growth of pectoral muscles, do not limit yourself to three angles of inclination. Strive for more complete muscle development, mastering all possible angles.
3. Stop doing the press during the information
Single-joint movements such as hands and crossover in the cable simulator are usually put at the end of the training session. In these movements, the elbows must be fixed and slightly bent. As a consequence, you can not use the working weight that you are used to in the bench exercises.
In the name of weight gain in single-joint movements, some athletes make a mistake and take an operating weight that they can not handle. As a result, the technique suffers. Although in this case it does not significantly increase the risk of injury, half-press / half-reduction reduces the degree of muscle isolation.
Most often it can be seen in the crossover on the block. Here's how to understand that you are making the same mistake. Watch the angle of flexion of the elbow joints throughout the entire range of motion. The correct technique is a slight bending at the elbow, which does not change throughout the entire approach. If you turn the crossover into a press, the elbows first bend, and then unbend closer to the top point.
Again, there is nothing wrong with pressures, but the rope simulator is not the best place for the jumper movements, because the body has no support, from which you can push with all the force. (In addition, we proceed from the consideration that you have already completed all the exercise exercises by this stage of training.) Reduce the working weight until you can complete the exercise by all rules from the beginning to the end of the approach, and watch closely the elbows!
If you are still experiencing difficulty keeping a small bending at the elbow joint during hand or crossover information, do the mixing in the simulator while sitting. Hold your elbows will be much easier, because it is almost impossible to straighten them during muscle contraction.
If you want to pump up powerful pectoral muscles, you need to put on the counter deltas, especially their front heads. All because of their involvement in the press, especially on the bench with a positive slope. If deltas are a weak link, you can bet on the fact that they inhibit the development of pectoral muscles.
Reconsider the training of the shoulders. Think about how to include in it variants of press above the head, which are sharpened for the development of the front deltas. Good examples are Arnold's bench press and barbell presses, in which you drop the projectile onto your chest. In addition, put isolating movements on the frontal deltas at the beginning of the rotation of single-joint movements. Perhaps, it makes sense to add one more isolation movement for these muscles.
Pay attention to the place of training your shoulders in your training split. Ideally, the interval between training the breasts and deltas should be at least two days. This will give time for recovery, and the muscles will not work for two days in a row. If you are training the shoulders and chest in one day, it is better to start with a larger muscle massif – in this case, from the chest.
Well, if the front deltas are really a weak link, think about pumping them first, at least sometimes.
The front deltas are not the only muscle group that pulls the chest muscle to the bottom. Triceps can also be a limiting factor, as your elbows straighten out in every multi-joint press that you perform. Triceps are not simple observers, they are the main engines of this movement! Of course, the relative weakness of the triceps negatively affects any type of bench press.
The recipe for weak triceps – heavy training of hands with special emphasis on multi-joint exercises (push-ups on the bars, push-ups in the simulator, bench press bench press) with small and medium repetitions. You can even think about the second triceps workout in one split. Just do not put it the day before your breast training. Or, worse, just before the breast session.
Why did we suddenly switch to the back in the topic of breast training? If the breast grows and the back laps behind, an imbalance appears that can affect your posture. The shoulders will be pulled forward, which will give you a stooping look.
This is not the kind that says "I'm a pumped guy!" Seriously take a proportional development of the body – an ideal balance presupposes the harmony of all muscle groups, even those that you do not see in the mirror.
7. Perform full-amplitude presses
Have you ever seen a guy who, instead of completely extending his arms, lifts the bar by only half? Or someone who stops shortly after full extension? What does this give them?
Reducing the range of motion inhibits muscle growth. If you always shorten the lower phase of the repetition, you will never develop strength in this part of the movement. Then you will start to further reduce the amplitude, because you find that in the shortened range you can take more weight, and no one wants to put a smaller working weight on the bar.
Moral: do partial repetitions in addition to full-amplitude movements, and not instead of them – especially when training for the maximum muscle volume.
Often we do not think about what the shoulder blades are doing during the training of the chest. You just lower the bar to your chest, and then lift it back up.
But it is not entirely correct to say that you just drop your hands below the plane of the trunk in the stretching phase. Rather, you bring the shoulder blades together and perform a negative repetition, sticking out your chest like a barrel. This can lead to excessive bending in the thoracic spine, but remember, during bench movements, the bench stabilizes you. The maximum stretching will allow you to generate more effort from the pectoral muscles, at the same time stabilizing and protecting the shoulder joints.
9. Change the grip in bench press lying down
Instead of a standard barbell grip, try rearranging your arms slightly wider or slightly narrower. When the hands are close enough, participation in the movement of the lower pectoral muscles increases, the range of motion becomes maximum, and the triceps are actively involved in the game. On the other hand, wide-spreading hands shift the focus to the external sections of the pectoral muscles and shoulders, while the range of motion is greatly reduced.
I do not recommend you to go to extremes. I'm just saying that there are many variants of the hand position that are different from the grip you are used to. Each position loads the musculature at a slightly different angle. Try to work from time to time with a narrower or wider grip bar. This is a great way to spur the growth of pectoral muscles.