This is an excellent exercise for the chest shoulders and the back of the arms (triceps). Furthermore, it's a great way to broaden the size
of the shoulders. An increase in shoulder size can make clothing fit
a bit of a problem, but by getting custom t-shirts made it's easy resolved. Push-ups are familiar to almost everyone, but most people do them wrong. There's something to stress in the beginning: Do not let your ego get in the way of your progress. Perhaps somebody told you should do 20 or 50 push-ups. Put it out of your mind.
Just remember this: The important thing is to do the exercise correctly; that counts for everything. That's why we introduce this basic exercise first. Because if you start doing this basic freehand, or non-apparatus, exercises without any problems and without cheating, then you'll go on into weight training without cheating. Right now is the time to catch and correct your self. You should train only for yourself. If you can do only one push-up but you do it right, that's fine. A week later you'll be able to do three, then six and eventually ten push-ups.
Place your hands approximately shoulder width apart. Hold your body perfectly straight and exhale as you push your body up until your arms are straight.
Pause. Inhale as you lower your body to the floor, allowing only your chest to touch. Your stomach should still be an inch or two off the floor when you touch with your chest, because your toes lift the body up a bit.
The most important thing is not to touch the floor with your stomach or your knees, and to press up until your arms are locked straight.
You should do it with a steady movement, like a piston, up and down, up and down. And always do full repetitions.
This is the number-one exercise for increasing the mass for the upper body, especially the pectoral muscles. Lie down on the exercise bench with your feet approximately 18 inches apart for support. Using a fairly wide grip (as in photo) lower the barbells until it touches your chest about nipple level and then ram it back up overhead. Lock your elbows at the top. Inhale deeply on the way down, exhale going up. Use the add-weight system. (add a small amount of weight at the beginning of each set)
BARBELL INCLINE PRESS
The inclined press with a barbell builds the upper pectoral, concentrating on the area where that muscle ties into the front deltoid. Although the bench press reaches a little into the upper pectoral muscle, the inclined press attacks it directly. It gives that "armor-plated" look to the upper chest and helps fill in hollow spaces around the clavicle (collarbone).
Do the inclined press on a 45-degree inclined bench, with a stand to take the weight off the arms when they are in the locked position. Watch the bar with your eyes. The bar should end up two or three inches away from your chin, NOT on your chest.
Hold the bar slightly wider than your shoulders, using approximately the same grip as for the bench press. Lower it smoothly down and press it up again, tensing the pectoral muscles at the top. Inhale deeply as the weight is lowered; exhale as you push it overhead.
Start with a lighter weight and work up. Obviously, because of the angle, you can't use as much weight in an inclined press as in a bench press.
PULL-OVER WITH DUMBBELL
This is the best possible movement for expanding the thorax and enlarging the rib cage. It also stretches the pectoral muscle and the latissimus, aids in developing the serratus muscle, pulls hard at your bone structure, and helps tone up the abdominal. It's a fantastic exercise, which can help increase your chest measurement considerably. Arnold has found the pullovers more effective if you lie across a flat bench rather than positioning yourself lengthwise on it. Arnold also got a far better stretch using a dumbbell than he did with a barbell.
Lie across an exercise bench (as in photo). Flatten your hands against the inside plates at on end of the dumbbell and hold it at arm's length over your chest. Only the upper back ought to be in contact with the bench. Keep your hips low throughout the exercise. Lower the dumbbell, while inhaling deeply, until it is in line with your head, and then exhale as you return the weight to starting position. Inhale as deeply as possible, force all the air you can into your lungs, and keep your chest expanded, even after you exhale. In other words, keep the chest held high throughout the entire movement of this exercise.
Flies stretch the rib cage and build the outer pectorals. They're one of Arnold's favorite exercises and they've had the best effect on Arnold's pectoral muscles, causing them grow wide and low, with a lot of definition.
Lie flat on your back on the bench. Lift your legs up and lock them in a cross position, as shown in photographs (this way you elimintate strain on your stomach). Starting with a pair of dumbbells held at arm's length over the chest, bend your arms slightly to take the pressure off your elbows and lower the weights out to the sides as far as you can (almost to the floor) while inhaling as much air as possible. Then slowly raise your arms, exhaling and tensing the pectorals as you do, until the dumbbells are about 10 inches apart. At the top, flex your pectoral muscles and press the weight really hard.
Another variation is to touch the dumbbells at the top, but that is not what we are after on this routine. By stopping the dumbbells about 10 inches apart, you keep a constant tension in the pectoral muscles, particularly the outer portions, which pumps them and promotes rapid growth. Be sure to get a full stretch by slowly lowering the dumbbells as far as possible on each repetition.
DUMBBELL FLAT BENCH PRESSES
By using dumbbells rather than barbells, you can work the chest muscles through a greater range of motion, and the need to balance and coordinate two separate weights forces the muscles to deal with new and unexpected resistance.
Lie on a flat bench, knees bent, feet flat on the bench. Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold them straight up overhead. Turn the dumbbells so that your palms face forward. Lower the weights toward your chest, concentrating on keeping them fully balanced and under control. Lower them as far as you can, feeling a complete stretch in the pectoral muscles. Press the weights back up and lock your arms straight overhead.
BENT-FORWARD CABLE CROSSOVERS
Using two floor level pulleys, grasp a handle in each hand and bend forward, extending your arms out to either side. Draw your hands towards one another allow to cross, and continue pulling until you feel your pectorals contract to the maximum. Hold for a moment and flex for extra contraction, then release and let your arms be pulled back to the starting position.