Aside from looking sexy, you need to get stronger too! Try out these amazing exercises which can lead you into a leaner and toner back including your chest!
The barbell bench press is great for developing power and really working your chest. You should grip the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. It’s performed in the same way as a dumbbell bench press, but with a barbell. Usually you will use a bench press rack so you don’t have to get the bench press up in front of you, you just lie on the bench under the rack and push the bar into the first position shown above.
This movement is rated as more difficult as you’re more likely to need someone else to help you with it. If you can’t finish a final rep with dumbbells, you can just lower them down to your sides. With a barbell, you will have to lower it down onto your hips and then shuffle it off if you don’t have a partner.
Bent Over Rows
Rows are a great way to tone and define your back.
- Put one knee on a bench, with your lower leg lying flat along the bench.
- Place your hand on the same side as your knee on the bench whilst leaning over. Your hand should be directly below your shoulder.
- Hold a dumbbell in your other hand, placing it on the bench.
- Tense your lat (the large muscles down the sides of your back) on the same side as the arm holding the dumbbell. Slowly raise the arm holding the dumbbell so your upper arm is parallel to the floor, and your elbow makes a 90 degree angle.
- Let the dumbbell come down slowly , rest it on the bench if you need. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
DB Peck Fly
Peck flys are a great way to hit the centre of your chest.
- Lie down flat on a bench or on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand, resting on your tighs.
- Use your thighs to raise the dumbbells up above you, with your palms facing each other.
- Slowly open your arms, keeping your wrists in the same position and with a slight bend in your elbows.
- Tense your chest to bring the two dumbbells back up in the air and together, holding for 2-3 seconds, concentrating on contracting the centre of your chest muscles. . The movement should only occur in your shoulders, not your elbows. This is one rep.
Front DB Raise
Front raises will work your trapezius as well as the back of your shoulders.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your side.
- Tense your core and slowly raise one arm up so it is straight out in front of you, with your palm facing the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds. You should be tensing your trapezius and shoulder as you do this.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell back to your side. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other arm.
DB Skull Crusher
Skullcrushers are a great way to get a tricep workout with reasonably light weights.
- Lie flat on a bench or on the floor with your knees bent or over the end of the bench.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand straight out in front of you.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your face until your elbows are at 90 degrees.
- Tense your triceps, slowly straightening your arms and bringing the dumbbells out in front of you. This is one rep.
DB Squat and Press
This is another great combo for adding some endurance into your workout.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly wider, with your toes slightly pointing outwards. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position. Make sure your weight is through your heels. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height.
- Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards. Lower yourself until your butt is an inch or two off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Explode upwards, squeezing your leg and core muscles as you raise yourself up. Push that momentum up through your arms to press the dumbbells above your head. This is one rep.
Deadlifts are another keystone exercise that you really should master. They’re also the exercise in which you’ll likely lift the most weight, so they’re fun!
- Place a barbell in front of you, and stand behind it with your shins touching the bar, with your feet hip width apart. Keep facing directly in front of you for the entire movement.
- Lower yourself down, grabbing the bar just wider than your feet. Either have your palms facing backwards, or have one forwards and one backwards. This reverse grip helps prevent the bar from rolling, which may be an issue as you lift heavier weights.
- Whilst holding the bar, squeeze your shoulder blade together and tighten your core. It is essential that you keep your spine in a straight, neutral position. Do not bend it when performing a deadlift. The deadlift is quite a straightforward movement, the difficulty comes in because you can easily injure your lower back if you’re not careful.
- Squeeze your legs and power up through your heels. Raise the barbell against your shins, keeping it close to your centre.
- As the bar raises to the level of your knees, move them back to continue lifting the bar up to your thighs. Squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, but not leaning backwards (this is bar form).
- Slowly lower the bar back down again, pushing your knees forwards as the bar passes lower than them. This is one rep.
Push-ups are a bodyweight staple exercise. They are great for working your chest and triceps.
- Place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor, making sure your hands are directly below your shoulders.
- Straighten your back and legs, standing on the balls of your feet.
- Slowly lower yourself down, bending your arms until your one or two inches above the ground. Make sure not to flare your elbows out too much. At most your elbows should be out at a 45 degree angle to your body.
- Tense your chest and triceps, pushing yourself back up. This is one rep.