How to build a treasure chest

  • By Team TDO

After the proudly flexed biceps, a strong broad chest is probably the second pre-requisite for being a Greek God. Moreover, since exercising the chest muscles involves actively using your shoulders and arms, you burn more calories that way. Need we give you more reasons to start exercising your chest muscles?

Dips & Push-ups

The most basic free hand exercises are dips and push-ups. These can be performed alternatively to get chest power and mass. For floor dips let's get the body into position: the palms are flat on the ground (generally a shoulder width space in between hands) and the legs are extended so that the body balances only on the palms and the toes much like a plank.

The head and shoulders should form a perfect triangle, and then taking a breath, press the hands down so that the chest dips between the hands and the knees are flexed taut and straight. Now, get the hands back to original position. Floor dips can be performed in sets of 10 or 20 to begin with. Experienced exercisers can even do it 100 or 500 times.

Push-ups are similar to dips, but with some differences. The hand width is the same, but you can allow some space between the legs. In the dip, the motion of the hand is like a piston, moving up and down.On the other hand, in push-ups, the body swings down as the heels are brought to the floor, which gives a natural extension to the hands and the neck is lowered between the shoulders. The buttocks are now high up like a slide in a play park. From that position, without moving the palms, the hands are flexed and the neck lowered between the hands and the torso swung back upwards like the raised hood of a cobra. These are great exercises for building endurance and strength in the chest muscles. However nothing can increase size quite like weight training. These are exercises for the serious chest nut.

The Barbell Bench Press

This exercise will figure in most gymnasiums and body building manuals. It has been around for decades and has been the pet exercise for most body builders. Mind you, there is also a joke doing the rounds about men lying about two things in life – their pay package and their barbell bench press poundage.

How to: you would need a partner for this exercise as it involves un-racking the weights from their position. You lie flat beneath the bar bell on a standard Olympic weight bench. With your feet flat on the floor and your buttocks glued tight to the bench, back and head on the bench at all times, reach out or let your partner hand you the bar which you lower to the chest. Now pressing your feet into the floor, while maintaining a flat position on the bench, use both arms to drive the bar straight up.Consult with the instructor at the gym how many times you can repeat the set.

Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell bench press is another superb chest builder. Hold a pair of dumbbells in each of your hands and take the position similar to the bar bell bench press. Extend the hands over your head to the midline and lower them straight out, forming a 180 degree straight line. Repeat the exercise in sets. This brings more of the chest muscles in to play and coupled with the bar bell bench press can exercise all the muscles related to the chest and shoulder areas.

Inclined Bench Press

The inclined bench press exercises the pectorals, deltoids and triceps. The incline in the bench in this case makes the upper chest take the load of the exercise. The barbell should be lowered to touch the upper chest and then pushed up. With the bench inclined, take care as to keep the elbows tucked to a 45 degree angle with your flank. This exercise can also be performed on a declining bench thus giving it the name 'declining bench press'. This brings the lower chest muscles into play.

So, now you are well on your way towards building that bulky chest you have always desired. Remember, practice & patience are the keys to the treasure chest.