Most fitness experts will tell you that the barbell bench press is the best exercise for developing the pectoral muscles to achieve a well-defined chest. This however is not 100% accurate. Bodybuilders when building the chest and triceps muscles strongly recommend against training aimed at focusing solely on the bench press exercise as a primary training method.
Easy ways to train your chest and triceps without using a barbell
Rather they have discovered a number of useful exercises utilizing the dumbbell as a suitable method of training their pectoral muscles.
One of the popular workouts used by many trainers to challenge the upper body involves an intense tri-set exercise aimed at targeting the chest, shoulder and triceps muscles. Generally the workout is performed within a period of forty-five minutes depending on your fitness level, the number of sets you are physically able to complete and the amount of rest periods you take during the workout.
To get started, you'll simply need a pair of weighted dumbbells, an incline bench and a chair.
Light Cardio Warm-up
As always we're going to begin our workout with a ten to fifteen warm up exercise including a light cardio activity of walking on the spot.
Now each of these exercises will be performed in a tri-set with a thirty second rest period in-between exercises. Individuals however who are more advanced in their fitness level can repeat each try-set for a challenging experience but for the average beginner, it is strongly recommended that you perform no more than a single try-set for each session.
Begin the workout with a series of drop-sets of the traditional push-up.
In the first set you're going to complete sixteen reps of the exercise, set two you'll perform fourteen reps of the exercise, set three twelve reps, set four ten reps and end eight reps in set five.
Remember during the workout note that you'll be resting for fifteen to twenty seconds between each exercise set.
1 1/2 overhead Press
The next exercise for this workout will be the 1 1/2 overhead Press.
How to perform the 1 1/2 Overhead Press:
- Using your dumbbells begin the exercise either standing upright or sitting on a chair with both your elbows slightly bent and the weights next to both your ears.
- Perform the exercise by pressing the dumbbells over your head, then lowering them to the initial position of the hands once again next to the ears
- Press the weights again upwards, but this time half the distance than before and then return to the start position.
You've now completed a single rep of the 1 1/2 overhead press.
Do twelve reps of this exercise.
Incline Chest Press
For the third exercise in this tri-set we're going to perform the incline chest press using our dumbbells. This exercise we must say offers a slight variation to the traditional chest press as an effective training method to focus more on targeting the upper part of the pectoral muscles. You'll need to set your incline bench at around forty-five degrees to the floor to target the clavicular head of your primary pectoral muscle as by laying on an incline surface your muscles will not be able to lift as much weight as if you were laying parallel to the floor. This is generally referred as adding moves to the exercise.
How to perform the Incline Chest Press
- Start by laying on the incline bench dumbbells in both hands positioning them straight up over your chest and palms outwards.
- Bend your elbows to lower both arms until the elbows are positioned slightly below the torso. Your arms at this point should form a shape similar to a goal post.
- Press the dumbbells upwards without locking your elbows bringing them close together to complete the exercise and repeat for twelve reps.
- Complete the try-set as many times as you possibly can for the best results.