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How to Build a Bigger Chest

These days I am not hung up on the numbers I am lifting in my bench press. In fact I have moved away from benching for sports specific reasons and my main pushing exercise is a DB press on a bench or exercise ball as this creates less stress on the shoulder joint. As a cricketer throwing is a huge part of the game, so bench press is something I have had to give up to improve the health of my shoulders. For those of you non-throwing athletes or everyday gym goers looking to develop a bigger, stronger and more powerful chest, read on as below you will find 3 areas that are crucial elements toward developing a monster bench and the chest you have always dreamed of. Mobility and Activation Exercises for the Shoulders As I mentioned earlier, benching puts a huge strain on the shoulder joint. I am not going to go into too much detail of why but basically the shoulder’s natural motion when punching or pressing is to rotate. Under the bar this is not possible and puts extra strain on the rotator cuff. The muscles of the rotator cuff play a huge role in stabilizing heavy weights when you bench. The more you neglect the rotator cuff, the weaker they will get, which will a) prevent you from progressing in your bench and b) put you at serious risk of injury. Press from Different Angles If you spend most of your chest workouts sitting under the bar on a bench then get out from under there and try something different. Try pressing from different angles. Military pressing with either dumbbells or a barbell, will strengthen the triceps and help balance out the musculature of the shoulder girdle. If you have shoulder problems try balancing out your horizontal pressing with vertical pressing variations. Vertical Pressing Variations – Curl to Press (Standing) – Tall Kneeling Curl to Press – Tall Kneeling Alternating Dumbbell Press – Half Kneeling Alternating Dumbbell or Kettlebell Press – Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press – Standing 1 Arm Dumbbell, or Kettlebell Press – Incline Pressing Horizontal Pushing Variations – 1-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press – 1-Arm Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – Stagger Push Ups – TRX Push Ups If You Wanna Grow You Gotta Row The only way you are going to be able to press big weights is if you create a strong and stable foundation from which to push. In simple term, improving the strength and stabilising ability of your upper back and lats will help improve the amount of weight you can bench. Have you ever un-racked the bar from under the bench and suddenly been struggling to balance the bar? Well this is caused from instability of your upper posterior chain (the muscles of the upper back and lats). To strengthen these areas try either including vertical or horizontal pulls into your workouts. Horizontal Pull Variations – Face Pulls – Plank Rows – Kettlebell Rows – TRX Rotational Rows Vertical Pull Variations – Pull Up with Pronated Grip – Pull Up with Underhand Grip



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