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Flat dumbbell bench press

Chest

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12, Set 4: 7-10; Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells • Exercise bench

Positioning:

• Lying back on the bench with dumbbells in both hands, bend your arms so the weights are at chest level on either side of your body. • Position your palms facing toward your feet and keep your elbows directly below your wrists.

Completing the exercise:

• Slowly exhale as you push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended. • Bring the weights together, gently clapping them over the center of your chest. • Breathing in, begin to lower the weights back down to the starting position.

Incline dumbbell bench press

Chest

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells • Incline exercise bench

Positioning:

• Sitting back on the incline bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other and the weights resting on top of your thighs. • Lift the dumbbells one at a time, so that you’re holding them in front of your chest at about shoulder width apart. For safety, use your thighs to help lift the weights. • Once raised, rotate the weights so that your palms are facing out and away from your body.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing out, use your chest muscles to push the dumbbells up and toward each other. Stop the movement just before the weights touch, leaving a few inches between them. • At the top of the movement, lock your arms and hold the position for a brief pause. • Breathing in, slowly start lowering the weights back down to the starting position. Lowering the dumbbells should take about twice as long as it did to raise them.

Considerations:

• After completing the exercise, return the dumbbells to a resting position atop your thighs and then place them on the floor. This is the safest way to put down the weights.

Decline dumbbell bench press

Chest

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12: Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15: Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12: Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells • Decline exercise bench

Positioning:

• Sitting on a decline bench, lock your legs in using the pads at the end. • With palms facing together, hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting on the top of your thighs and lie back on the bench. • Once you are fully reclined, bring the weights to chest level, about shoulder width apart. • After reaching this position, rotate the weights so your palms are facing away from you and raise the dumbbells straight up so your arms are fully extended.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing in, slowly lower the dumbbells down to your side, making sure to maintain control of the weights throughout the motion. • Breathing out, push the weights back upward using your pectoral muscles. • At the top of the movement, lock your arms and contract your chest muscles, holding the position for a few seconds.

Considerations:

• When finished with the exercise, do not simply drop the weights down next to you as this can be dangerous to your rotator cuff and shoulders. Instead, either hand the weights off to a partner or return them to your thighs, sit up and then gently place them on the floor.

Cable push ups

Chest

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 10-12; Set 4: 7-10

Set 5: 7-10

Equipment Needed:

• Dual cable machine

Positioning:

• Taking one handle in each hand, lower your body weight down onto the handles. • Keep your legs together and extended straight back, making sure to keep your core tight and back straight.

Completing the exercise:

• Keeping your arms tucked in close to your body, exhale and begin to lower your body down until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. • Breathing in, slowly begin to push your body back upward and into the starting position.

Considerations:

• Compared to regular push-ups, cable push-ups are more difficult because they provide an element of instability.

Chest flys

Chest

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Beginner

Set 1: 12-15 repetitions; Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10

Intermediate

Set 1: 12-15: Set 2: 10-12, Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Advanced

Set 1: 12-15: Set 2: 10-12; Set 3: 7-10; Set 4: 3-6

Set 5: 3-6

Equipment Needed:

• Dumbbells • Exercise bench

Positioning:

• Lying flat on the bench, hold one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other. The weights should be rested on the tops of your thighs for support. • Lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you are holding them up over the middle of your chest. For safety, use your thighs to help you lift the weights. • Keep your elbows slightly bent with palms facing one another.

Completing the exercise:

• Breathing in, begin to lower the weights slowly out and away from one another in a wide arc motion. • Continue to lower your arms until you feel a stretch in your chest muscles. • Breathing out, contract your chest muscles and slowly return your arms to the starting position, using the same arc used to lower the weights.

Considerations:

• Keep your elbow joints stationary throughout this movement, maintaining the same slight bend throughout. The main motion in this exercise should be occurring through your shoulder joints.