5 CHEST-TRAINING TWEAKS TO BECOME A FREAK

5 CHEST-TRAINING TWEAKS TO BECOME A FREAK

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Wintertime or summertime, your chest is the centerpiece of your physique. It’s the first muscle that people notice when you walk into a room—shirtless or sweater-covered. Chest training is so popular among gym rats of all levels, in fact, that Monday has long been unofficially known as international chest day. That means by now you’ve probably exhausted every press and flye variation out there in pursuit of Herculean pectorals. Luckily for you, we’re doling out five more chest moves that you’ve likely never heard of before, all of which stimulate your pecs in new ways.

Read up on these chest-pumping variations and give them a try. The newfound muscle and strength results and crushed plateaus will speak for themselves.

The Movement: Smith Machine Bench Press

THE TWEAK:
Lower bar to neck.

THE EXECUTION:
Set a flat bench inside a Smith machine. Lie down so your neck is under the bar and grasp it with a shoulder-width grip. Lower the bar under control so it’s between your clavicle bones and Adam’s apple. Push bar back up to just before lockout. The elbows should be perpendicular to your torso while both lowering and pressing.

THE RESULT:
This unique angle provides a deeper stretch to your pecs and also targets more of the upper pecs.

The Movement: Machine Chest Press

THE TWEAK:
Sit sideways in the machine.

THE EXECUTION: 
Sit sideways in any seated chest press machine so that your rear delt and lat are making contact with the pad for a better range of motion. Lean back slightly, which will help you extend to full lockout, and push the weight up. Make sure to squeeze the chest hard at the top of the movement at least 1 to 2 seconds.

THE RESULT:
The unique positioning of the torso allows for an extremely intense contraction and will produce significant soreness where the pec ties into the sternum. With your upper back against the pad, brace your entire body and then press the weight.

The Movement: Machine Chest Press

THE TWEAK:
Rest only your upper back on back support.

THE EXECUTION:
Sit on a seated chest press machine and slide your rear end forward to the end of the seat and allow your upper back to rest against the support pad. Place your feet out in front of you, making sure you are locked in position and fully stabilized. Then press the handles forward until your pecs contract.

THE RESULT:
The position of your torso will shift the emphasis (even more so) onto the lower pecs, helping you better sculpt and define your lower chest.

The Movement: Low-Cable Flye

THE TWEAK:
Performing on a high incline.

THE EXECUTION:
Set an incline bench (angled to about 75 degrees) in the middle of an adjustable cable-crossover station, with cables attached low. Lie back on the incline bench and grasp the handles with palms up. With a slight bend in the elbows, perform a flye until your hands are up high enough that you feel a contraction in your chest. Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds.

THE RESULT:
This movement is a hybrid of a low-cable crossover and an incline cable flye, providing a novel stimulus for the chest. This variation will allow for a better stretch, doing more overall damage to your muscle fibers.

The Movement: Smith Machine Bench Press

THE TWEAK:
Use an underhand grip.

THE EXECUTION:
Lie on a flat bench positioned in a Smith machine so that when you lower the bar, it makes contact with your nipples. Grip bar with a reverse grip and then lower the bar to your chest. Press it back up just before lockout. Do not tuck the elbows into the body during this movement, but instead allow them to take their natural path.

THE RESULT:
This exercise has been shown by an EMG (electromyography)—a machine used to measure muscle activation—to stimulate the upper pecs to a greater degree than the standard incline press.

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