Exercising your chest muscles and biceps are often amongst the favorites of regular gym goers, especially men and beginners who are more focused on visible progress and the ‘glamour muscles’. Let's have a closer look and check which exercises yield results...

The most effective exercises for training your chest

1. Bench Press

Keep it casual and relaxed - like children who run outside during a break at school to move around a bit. This is not a training session, but a dose of activity to make you feel better and to boost your energy levels. Don't approach this feeling as if you MUST do something. There is no training plan here. Don't do strenuous exercise that requires you to warm up your muscles and joints first. You don't need any tools or weights. Excessive exercise increases your risk of injury.

2. Dips on rails

This exercise is not as popular as the bench press. It is a pity, because properly executed, it is extremely effective. The movement consists of lowering and lifting the body on the handrails by flexing and extending the elbows and shoulders. Sounds the same as the triceps pushups? Therein lies the problem. If we want to activate the pectoral muscles, the hands should be placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart with the elbows slightly turned outwards and the torso slightly tilted.

During the movement, it is important we maintain the correct position. A common mistake is "sinking in your arms", which is lowers your head too much and activates muscles we aren’t trying to target here. Most often we make such a mistake at the end of the set when we lack strength. Another mistake is rocking the body, unstable posture and performing the exercise in an incomplete range of motion by only to the right angle at the elbow joint. These types of mistakes will make us tired, but all the work will be done by the arm muscles rather than the chest muscles. Therefore, this exercise is intended for people who already have some training experience and good muscular awareness and control.

4. Fontal lateral raise

A very popular exercise, generally performed after a series of bench presses. It consists of lowering and raising both arms loaded with dumbbells so that they meet each other at the height of the sternum. The hands should be anatomically positioned and therefore not slightly bent at the elbow joint.

This is a can be a debatable exercise in terms of its efficacy. It certainly allows you to "feel" the muscle (very often post-workout "soreness" is due to the spreads). It certainly has a good effect on increasing the range of motion and preventing contractures however, it is easy to get injured, especially when pushing too hard with weights beyond your training level. It’s easy to go too far, raise beyond the shoulder joint and this may damage the pectoral muscle or the shoulder or elbow joint.

Is the oblique bench press really effective?

Positive angle- a popular modification of the classic bench press. Contrary to popular belief, in this exercise we will not isolate the upper part of the pectoral muscle as it always works as a whole. But in fact, the positive slant in the bench position allows this part of the muscle to be slightly more active. The idea is to set the bench at an angle of 30 to 50 degrees and be careful not to have a larger angle as this will activate the deltoid muscles too much (then we train the shoulders, not the chest).

Negative angle - this characteristic position with the head lower than the torso is, in the opinion of many exercisers, isolating the lower part of the chest. In fact, isolation (as in the previous variant) is not possible, and a negative angle like this only affects shortening the range of movement.