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Chest exercises

Alternate upper and lower chest exercises for a complete chest workout

Saturday, October 19, 2013 by: Sarka-Jonae Miller
Tags: chest exercises, workouts, pectoral muscles

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(NaturalNews) Exercisers often refer to the "chest" as one area, but the truth is that there are multiple muscles in that part of the body. It would be more accurate to divide the chest into sections: upper, middle and lower. The popular exercises like push-ups and chest flyes emphasize the mid-chest, but, for a complete chest workout, you need to add chest exercises for the upper and lower portions. Use this in-home workout to target the two different sections with alternating chest exercises.

Decline push-ups

Changing the angle of your push-up by putting your feet on an object to make them higher than your head causes your upper chest to perform most of the work. This chest exercise uses the same movements as a standard push-up, but the position puts more weight on your arms, so don't try to do your usual number of repetitions.

Starting Position: Get into push-up position with your feet on a sturdy object at least 12 inches high. The higher up you put your feet, the greater the emphasis on the upper chest. Place your hands slightly farther apart than shoulder-width.

Action: Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor. Once you are nearly kissing the floor, push your body back up into push-up position. Aim for eight to ten reps, if you can, and work up to more. If you can't perform eight reps safely, put your feet on a shorter object.

Decline chest flyes

Decline chest flyes are a variation of standard chest flyes that targets the lower chest by changing the angle of the arm movement. This chest exercise is safest on a decline bench, or an adjustable exercise bench positioned at an angle below 45 degrees to the floor.

Starting Position: Lie on your exercise bench with your head on the part closest to the ground. Grip a dumbbell in each hand and hold your arms out to your sides. Turn your palms to face the ceiling. Maintain a small bend in your elbow but no more than a slight bend throughout the exercise.

Action: Lift both arms toward the ceiling and touch them together above you. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

If using a decline bench is too uncomfortable, do standing chest flyes with an exercise band. Secure the center of the back to a sturdy object at chest level. Stand with your back to the object and follow the same directions described above, except pull your arms forward at a downward angle. Your hands should be in front of your thighs or abdomen when you pull them forward but then should be parallel to the floor when open at your sides. Do 10 to 15 decline flyes.

Start with two sets and work up to four. By alternating the chest exercises that emphasize the upper and lower portion, you give part of your chest a slight break. Therefore, you shouldn't need more than one to three minutes between sets for recovery.

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About the author:
Sarka-Jonae Miller is a former personal trainer and massage therapist. She has a journalism degree from Syracuse University. Sarka-Jonae currently writes romantic comedy novels and romantic erotica under the same SJ Miller.
Get more health and wellness tips from SJ's natural health Twitter feed or from SJ's Facebook page.
SJ's books can be found on Amazon.

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