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Building Chest Muscles
youngskied posted:
I was reading a slideshow by WebMD about building certain muscle groups. When I came upon the chest portion there wasn't much info as far as exercises go other than the bench press. Within the article regarding the bench press it say that it works the entire chest and no other variations are needed for building your whole chest. It brought some speculation because when I have read forums around the web it states that either a variation of exercises are needed or the bench is not as effective as stated. What do you guys think?

The muscle building slide show :
rohvannyn responded:
I've read and found that a bench press is a great compound exercise that works a lot of different muscles at once. So is the military press and the deadlift. I've had some good results from butterflies too. Check your form, be careful, yadda yadda. I'm sure our resident expert has more to add and I'm looking forward to reading it.
youngskied replied to rohvannyn's response:
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
I was at the gym doing bench press, where else would I be! I do make an effort to answer questions every day, but sometimes that can't happen. Oddly, all these posts say posted one month ago, so I don't know what's going on. As for the bench, it's an excellent chest exercise. It works the pecs of course, as well as other primary movers like the anterior shoulder (deltoid), triceps, and serratus. If you change the angle on the bench (incline and decline), then you get higher and lower pecs as well. Some people do flyes because the hands get closer together at the top of the range of motion, thus the pecs at the sternum are contracting tighter together. You could get the same effect from dumbbell presses, and using close-grip bench with the bar as well. Of course, for compound exercises such as Rohvannyn mentions, don't count out pushups for chest and other major muscle groups. But if I had to do one chest exercise, it would be dumbbell presses. It's the best combination of flyes and benches with the bar.

If you want some scholarly resources with accurate illustrations of what muscles are working during different exercises, check these books out.

Take care, Rich
youngskied replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
Thanks a lot Rich. Youre the man!
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE replied to youngskied's response:
You're very welcome.
1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:

I read that article as well and had similar thoughts, I read alot of fitness magazines just looking for ways to alter my workouts so i dont get bored. Chest for me is one of those areas that i have always had a hard time growing/bulking up. I believe it was in mens health that had an article about growing muscles and they 2 main ways to do it. 1st being over load the muscle, in doing so you activate more muscle fibers. They suggested doing heavy weight for 3 or 4 reps, 3 sets. The second was using light weight and doing the exercises quickly, thus activating the fast twitch muscles, which are often neglected when doing the normal 8-10 reps with moderate weight. I employed this strategy a few weeks ago, i have noticed some growth, which i am pleased to see. maybe give that a try and see if that helps.

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