The standing cable chest press is without doubts one of the most popular exercises for developing stronger, bigger and leaner chest muscles. I bet that if you got to the gym, you will most likely discover that someone has occupied this machine.
In fact, often you will need to stand in the queue in order to use the machine and this because of the fact that cable chest press tend to be highly popular equally among males and females.
Following muscles are involved mainly when performing the standing cable chest press: pectoralis major / minor, serratus, anterior,triceps and deltoids.
This exercise requires specific equipment, namely the cable crossover station, 2 D-handles (nylon, if available)
Set the pulleys at shoulder height.
Grab the pulleys and position your body so that the cables are taut in the start position (elbows at 90 degrees).
Use a split stance, tighten your abs, lean slightly forward. (Inhale) Press the handles forward until your elbows lock.
(Exhale) Return to the starting position.
You may substitute this exercise by performing it with only one arm at the time.
You can easily vary this exercise by either setting the cables higher in order to target your lower pectorals. On the other side, you can set the cables lower in order to work your upper pectorals.
You might want to ask for assistance at the gym in order to get the cables in the place as you prepare for the exercise.
You can easily injure yourself if you are unfamiliar with the exercise, thus make sure you learn the proper form before loading on any heavier weights.
The standing cable chest press is a powerful exercise for building a stronger chest muscles. What I personally enjoy with this exercise is the risk of injuring yourself which is by far higher when using the free weights.
This is why the cable chest press is ideal no matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced user.
So, if you have not tried it yet, do yourself a favor and try it out as it might be the best thing you do when it comes to developing your pectorals. I ensure you that you will not be disappointed!
The standing shoulder press is ideal for developing your shoulder muscles. One of the main misconceptions about this exercises is that you should perform it while sitting on a bench.
Although this is true, there are a lot more positive aspects of performing it while standing. One of the main benefits is that you are going to use your core more intensively in order to maintain your balance.
In return, you are going to indirectly increase the strength of your core while working on your shoulders, which is a win-win situation!
All right, lets check out the exercise…
Following muslces are targeted when performing the standing shoulder press: pectoralis major / minor, serratus, anterior, triceps, deltoids
Set of Dumbbells
Start with feet shoulder-width apart, abs tight, weights held directly above your shoulders, palms facing toward you.
(Exhale) Press the weights straight uplocking your elbows at the top.
(Inhale) Lower to the starting position.
Make sure that you have a stable grip of the dumbbells while holding them above your head.
You may perform this exercise by sitting on a bench.
An advanced substitution is the hand stand push up, however, this is an exercise that I do not recommend for beginners because it requires a great portion of strength and balance.
Lock your elbows at the top of the move to engage and build your triceps more fully.
The standing shoulder press is an ideal exercise for strengthening and developing your shoulder muscles.
It is also one of those exercises that will help you indirectly increase the strength of your core, thus contribute to the development of your abdominal muscles.
Personally, this is one of my favorite exercises when it comes to shoulder workouts and I strongly encourage you to add it to your workout arsenal.
Knee tucks are a veritable “spare-tire” buster! Our series of advanced abdominal exercise has the potential to tighten your belt a couple of notches. For those of you looking for a killer ab workout, download our “Best Ab Workout: Series 2”.
In order to perform this exercise you will need to have a stability ball. If you are unsure about the size of the exercise ball, make sure to check out our guide that explains everything you need to know.
Proper stability ball size.
Lie on top of the ball. Place your hands on the floor in a push-up position, tighten your abs & slowly walk your hands forward until your shins are resting on the ball.
(Exhale) With abs tight, exhale as you tuck your knees into your chest.
(Inhale) Return to the starting position.
You need to make sure that you are performing the exercise with a proper form in order to avoid strains in your back & arms.
An advanced version of the exercise is to pull your knee to the sides. Also, you may even pull one of your knees to your chest while your other leg is hovering in the air.
If you have difficulties with performing the knee tucks on a stability ball, you may replace it with the plank instead.
Make sure you keep your body aligned (legs, hips, spine, neck) and your shoulders pushed back throughout this exercise.
Knee tucks is a highly efficient exercise but it does require a lot of efforts in order to get out most of it. Personally I hate this exercise but I am doing it because I know how powerful it is.
The advanced ball crunch is more demanding than the traditional crunch because it requires constant balance adjustments which kicks up the intensity & engages more of your abdominal muscles.
This exercise have also been scientifically analyzed by a group of scientist at Sand Diego State University. Their conclusion of the study was namely that advanced ball crunch is one of the most efficient overall ab exercise.
Considering that fitness world is full of myths and lies, this study is really great news because it actually gives you the blueprint to stronger, bigger and more sculptured abdominal muscles.
All right, let’s check out the exercise…
Following muscles are activated when performing the advanced ball crunch: (rectus abdominis, obliques, transversus abdominis)
Stability Ball, Weights (dumbbell or plate)
The crucial part of this exercise is to pick the right size of the stability ball. This is why I have created a guide that you should check out before you make a decision on which ball suits you.
Sit on the ball & walk your body forward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Place feet flat on the floor (shoulder-width apart) & your fingertips behind your head for support.
Hold the weight on your chest as pictured above.
Tighten your abs & (Inhale) lower your body until your torso is parallel with the floor.
(Exhale) Slowly lift your torso until your are fully upright.
If you are not able to perform the advanced version of the ball crunch for some specific reason, you might want to consider the basic version instead.
The main difference between the advanced and basic version is that you are using a weight attached to your torso, as for the advanced version while in the basic version you are not using any weights at all.
The ball crunch is more demanding than the traditional crunch because it requires constant balance adjustments which kicks up the intensity & engages more of your abdominal muscles.
The beauty of this exercise is that you can make it more or less challenging by substituting simple variations.
Dr. Peter Francis and his team of researchers at the Biomechanics Laboratory at San Diego State University scientifically analyzed the Ball Crunch and deemed it the “best overall exercise” for the abs.
Following muscles are activated when performing the ball crunch: (rectus abdominis, obliques, transversus abdominis)
The only equipment required for this exercise is a stability ball.
In order to prepare yourself properly for this exercise you will need to select the right size of the stability ball. In order to help you out here is a guide on how to do this: (Read more…)
Start by sitting on the ball. Walk your body forward until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Place feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, fingertips behind your head for support.
Tighten your abs & (Exhale) slowly flex forward with your upper torso.
(Inhale) Lower your body to the starting position.
Keep your neck in the neutral position. (If you can place your fist between your chin and chest, your head and neck are properly aligned.)
Place your feet closer together to challenge your obliques, or increase resistance by holding a weight on your chest.
If you are not able to perform this exercise for any specific reason, make sure you check out the Traditional Crunch as it might fit your current state.
Considering that ball crunch is scientifically backed up and proven to be one of the best overall exercises for sculpting your abs, it is obvious that you should add it to your arsenal of abdominal exercises.
Lat pull down with same grip and placement of hands. Be aware that the lat pull down works fewer muscles than the Assisted Pull Up, so it’s not a substitution.
Although the assisted pull up it is not equally efficient as the traditional version, I still recommend you to consider it as an option since it helps you gain enough strength in order to be able to perform the traditional version.