- 06 Aug - 12 Aug, 2022
- 22 May - 28 May, 2021
You might not consider chest and triceps workouts top priority (leg day is so satisfying, we get it), but they definitely deserve more love.
Though they're often overlooked, your chest muscles play a huge role in your ability to stand proud and tall. Yup, a strong chest equals better posture. The benefits of working your chest muscles don't end there, though. Another major perk: Strengthening your chest means strengthening the rest of your upper body (think arms and back), too.
Plus, your triceps are your secondary movers for all types of exercises that fire up your chest – pushups, included – so it's pretty much impossible to work your chest without lighting up the backs of your arms, too. Perks on perks, are we right?
This chest and triceps workout is designed to challenge your upper body with a variety of different movements in different positions. You'll also mix things up by using your body weight, a resistance band, and dumbbells – and incorporate some unilateral moves to build balanced strength.
You can either perform this workout two or three times a week on its own – or plug-and-play any of these exercises into full-body workouts if that's more your style.
Lying dumbbell chest fly
Lie on back with knees bent and feet planted. Hold a light to moderate dumbbell in each hand and rest elbows on floor at sides at a 45-degree angle from ribs. This is your starting position. Pressing back into floor, engage core, exhale and draw hands together above chest as if hugging a giant beach ball. With control, reverse the movement until elbows return to floor. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15.
Overhead triceps extension
Start standing, gripping one dumbbell with both hands, and lift the weight overhead, arms straight, feet hip-width apart. Keeping upper arms by your ears and hands at the top of the bar, bend elbows to lower the weights slowly behind your head. Pause, then straighten arms, returning to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15 reps.
Start in a high plank position with hands beneath shoulders. Engage core, keep shoulder blades down back, and bend elbows to lower body down in one long line from head to heels at once. (Elbows should extend away from sides at 45-degree angles.) When upper arms are parallel with floor, press straight back up to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15.
Lie on back with legs lifted and knees bent so shins are parallel with floor. Hold one medium dumbbell between both hands by the ends with arms extended straight up towards ceiling. Engage core so back presses into floor. This is your starting position. Pull arms back to a 45-degree angle and then bend elbows to lower dumbbell to floor above head. With control, reverse the movement to return to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15.
Dumbbell floor press
Lie on back with knees bent and feet placed flat on the ground, about a foot from butt. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend arms up over shoulders, palms facing toward each other. This is your start position. With control, bend arms and lower them to sides until triceps touch the floor (dumbbells will still be raised over wrists). Elbows should form a 45-degree angle with the body. Slowly reverse the movement and return to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15.
Single-arm deadbug press
Lie on back with legs lifted and knees bent so shins are parallel with floor. Extend left arm straight up toward ceiling (palm facing inward) and hold a dumbbell in right hand with elbow resting on floor about 45 degrees away from ribs. This is your start position. Engage core to keep entire back connected to floor, then extend right arm to press dumbbell straight up toward ceiling. Once right arm is fully-extended, slowly bend at elbow and lower weight back down to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15 on each side.
Start seated in a chair and grip the front edges with both hands. Scoot butt forward until it's hovering just off the seat and legs form 90-degree angles. Straighten arms. This is your start position. Lower body down until elbows form 90-degree angles. Engage the back of your arms to press back to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15.
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