You are only as strong as your weakest link. This holds true no matter what your fitness goal is.
If your goal is to increase your bench press and your shoulders stabilizers are not up to speed, you shouldn't expect any major gains.
Medicine ball pushups on dual balls is a good way to test your shoulder's ability to stabilize.
If you can perform 20+ reps with no shaking then you can consider your shoulders stable.
If you're shaking all over the place at the start of the set, you're better off ditching bench press for a bit until you can strengthen your shoulder stabilizer muscles.
It is even more difficult when you have 2 different sized medicine balls.
Important form tip is to lower your chest as far as you possibly can each rep and raise your body up until right before your elbows lock.
Personal Trainer Michael Behnken, MS, CSCS
are a great exercise you can do anywhere.
If you don't get bored with doing push-ups all the time, they could be your only chest exercise!
The only drawback with push-ups is they can be hard on the wrists for some people.
If they are hard on your wrists, pick up push-up stands such as the perfect push-up, which will run you from $10-30.
you elevate your feet and keep your hips up, and spine in neutral alignment, you will primarily work your upper chest, and shoulders.
Remember you are never lowering your face towards the floor for push-ups.
If your hips cannot stay up in neutral alignment you may need to work on some core exercises. You can read all about core exercises here:
Trainer Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS
Trainer Mike Behnken, MS, NASM-CPT-PES, CSCS
Stability ball push-ups with your feet on the ball are challenging exercise which will target your upper chest.
Make sure your lower back doesn't arch. If it does, you have lost your core stabilization. Stop and regress to an easier exercise or move the ball.
The ball can be placed anywhere on your legs. The closer to your waist the easier these push ups will be.
To increase the core stabilization you can remove a foot off of the ball and abduct it out of the side.
Dumbbell pullovers are an old school exercise which you can use on a variety of work out days.
They are a great heavy load for the long head of your triceps.
My favorite use for dumbbell pullovers is to finish off a chest back superset workout.
You can also perform triceps extensions at the end of your set to work more triceps.
Make sure you keep your arms slightly bent, your elbows in towards each other and don't drop the 85 lb. dumbbell on your head.
Personal Trainer Michael Behnken, MS, NASM-CPT-PES, CSCS
National Academy of Sports Medicine
Certified Personal Trainer
Performance Enhancement Specialist
Corrective Exercise Specialist
National Strength & Conditioning Association
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Staggered arm push-ups have long been an exercise which shows extreme fitness.
It takes tremendous core, shoulder and arm strength to perform 1 arm pushups.
This is a version of crocodile or alligator or whatever you want to call them, staggered grip push-ups.
Position yourself on the floor in pushup position. Put one arm forward and the other arm a little lower than your normal push-ups position.
You want to use your arm which is back and close to your body as much as possible.
Try to put as little weight on your upper hand as possible. You can even put your fingers on the ground instead of your palm.
Perform as many reps as you want for 1/2 a set and then do the other side.
Try to place as little weight on your upper hand as possible each time you do this exercise.
Trainer Michael Behnken, MS, NASM-CPT-PES, CSCS
If you are looking to build your chest you should read this page:
The stability ball dumbbell bench press is a great functional exercise.
To use for a chest building, lower the dumbbells at nipple level.
To use for strength building, as the dumbbells approach your chest, rotate your arms slightly internally.
Personal Trainer Michael Behnken, MS, NASM-CPT-PES, CSCS
Dumbbell Chest press instructional video
Dumbbell Chest Press exercise video
Isolating the chest and developing the stabilizing muscle dumbbell Chest press is extremely effective at developing the Pectoralis major muscle. Known as the Pecs, Dumbbell Chest press isolate like no other and will add variety to your chest workout and training.
A Toyota salesman's attempt to chest bump Eli Manning goes horribly wrong.
This is a partial-rep version of the incline barbell bench press. Doing partials allows you to use more weight on the exercise - for me, having bad shoulders means my full-range incline is terrible. The partial range allows me to hit the upper chest with heavy weight, which also targets the connective tissue. The high reps help improve blood flow to the muscle, improving muscle growth potential as well.
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