Men fitness: Simple exercises for chest and back

There are specific exercises for the chest and the back.

There are specific exercises for the chest and the back.

What you need to know:

  • Dumbbell bench press — 3 sets of 6–8 reps -  After lying down, the palms of your hands will be facing each other. “Using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width,” recommends fitness platform BodyBuilding.

Here are some of the most effective exercises for your chest and back.

Chest

Dumbbell bench press — 3 sets of 6–8 reps

Get a flat bench and lie on it holding a dumbbell in each hand. The dumbbell should be resting on your thighs. After lying down, the palms of your hands will be facing each other. “Using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width,” recommends fitness platform BodyBuilding. When at shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands face away from you. In this position, the dumbbells should go to the sides of your chest, with your upper arm and forearm creating a 90-degree angle. “Maintain full control of the dumbbells at all times. This will be your starting position. Then, as you breathe out, use your chest to push the dumbbells up,” BodyBuilding instructs. “Lock your arms at the top of the lift and squeeze your chest, hold for a second and begin coming down slowly.” Do not be quick to lower the weights. Take twice the amount of time you took to raise them. This pattern should be repeated throughout the reps you will do for this exercise. “Once you are done, take caution when getting the dumbbells off. For example, you could damage the rotator cuff in your shoulder by simply dropping the dumbbells next to you,” states BodyBuilding. Instead, lift your legs from the floor bending at the knees, twist your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing each other and place the dumbbells on top of your thighs. “When both dumbbells are touching your thighs simultaneously push your upper torso up (while pressing the dumbbells on your thighs) and also perform a slight kick forward with your legs (keeping the dumbbells on top of the thighs),” it states.

Back

Dumbbell bent-over rows — 3 sets of 6–8 reps

If you have a back problem or a back injury, keep off this exercise. This exercise is started by holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your torso. The torso, also known as human trunk, is the human body apart from the head, neck, arms, and legs. Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist. According to BodyBuilding, when bending, keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. “The weights should hang directly in front of you as your arms hang perpendicular to the floor and your torso. This is your starting position,” states BodyBuilding. It explains the procedure by recommending that while keeping your torso stationary, “you should lift the dumbbells to your side (as you breathe out), keeping the elbows close to the body (do not exert any force with the forearm other than holding the weights). On the top contracted position, squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second. Slowly lower the weight again to the starting position as you inhale. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.”

Chest

Dumbbell fly — 3 sets of 8–10 reps

Start off by lying down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. “The palms of your hand will be facing each other. Then using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other,” BodyBuilding instructs. Raise the dumbbells up like you're pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position. “With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement,” it states. Throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary. The movement should only occur at the shoulder joint. “Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights. Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions,” recommends BodyBuilding.

Back

One-arm dumbbell rows — 3 sets of 6–8 reps

You will need to find yourself a flat bench where you will place a dumbbell on each side. Once you have done this, place the right leg on top of the end of the bench, and then bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor. You will then place your right hand on the other end of the bench for support. “Use the left hand to pick up the dumbbell on the floor and hold the weight while keeping your lower back straight. The palm of the hand should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position,” instructs BodyBuilding. “Pull the resistance straight up to the side of your chest, keeping your upper arm close to your side and keeping the torso stationary. Breathe out as you perform this step.” Once one side has been exercised, switch to the other side and repeat the same procedure.

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