Workout C: Upper Body Push Day
- DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
(Hits chest, deltoids)
Grasp a pair of dumbbells and lie on a flat bench, feet flat on the floor. Position upper arms perpendicular to the torso while holding the dumbbells directly over the elbow joints (the upper and lower arms form 90-degree angles). Keeping your lower back in a neutral position, press the dumbbells toward the ceiling until they are directly over your chest. Pause, contracting the chest muscles, and then reverse the action, returning to the start position.
- INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS
(Hits pecs, with emphasis on upper pecs, across the clavicles)
Grasp a pair of dumbbells and lie on a bench that’s been set to a 45-degree angle, feet flat on the floor. Position upper arms perpendicular to the torso while holding the dumbbells directly over the elbow joints (the upper and lower arms form 90-degree angles). Keeping your lower back in a neutral position, press the dumbbells toward the ceiling until they’re directly over the clavicles. Pause, contracting the chest muscles, and then reversing the action, returning to the starting position.
3a. DUMBBELL CHEST FLYE
(Hits pectoral muscles, with emphasis on the sternal section)
Grasp a pair of dumbbells and lie on a flat bench, feet flat on the floor. Position upper arms directly over your chest, palms facing in. Keeping a slight bend in the elbows to protect the joints, contract the pectorals and slowly move arms out to the sides until the elbows are on the plane of your torso. Pause, and then slowly move the arms in an arc back toward the starting position, maintaining the contraction.
3b. SUSPENSION TRICEPS EXTENSION
(Hits triceps, abs)
Set-Up: Facing away from the anchor point, grab the handles (palms forward) and lean your weight forward in a push-up-like position with your arms extended directly in front of your shoulders. Shoot for a 45-degree angle, torso relative to the ground, and adjust accordingly from there.
Action: Bend at your elbows, lowering your body until your palms pass the plane of your forehead (think skullcrusher). Reverse the direction by extending your elbows as in a triceps extension. That’s one rep!
Keep your entire body straight throughout the full range of each rep.
Keep your humerus (upper-arm bone) directly underneath your shoulders during the exercise.
4a. DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS
(Hits overall delts, with emphasis on middle and anterior portions)
Hold dumbbells, palms facing forward, out to the sides of the body, dumbbells stacked directly above the elbow joints (the joints should form 90-degree angles). Keep knees bent slightly, core locked and scapulae in a retracted position, press dumbbells toward the ceiling, moving them in an arc toward one another until they’re nearly over your head. Pause, and control the dumbbells back to the sides, reversing the pressing action.
4b. BENCH DIP
(Hits triceps, and chest and deltoids secondarily)
Place your hands, palms down, on a flat bench, and place your heels on the floor directly in front of you. Your legs should be straight and your torso upright. Bend your elbows, dropping your glutes toward the floor until your upper arms are parallel with it. You should feel a tension in your shoulders, pectorals and especially triceps. Then, slowly extend your elbows, using the triceps muscles to push your torso back to the upright position.
For maximum stress on the triceps and to protect the shoulder capsules, avoid flaring your shoulders to the sides; instead, keep them pointing rearward.
- SUSPENSION PUSH-UP
(Hits pecs, triceps, shoulders)
Set-Up: Assume a push-up position with your hands on the floor (palms directly beneath your shoulders) and your ankles inside the straps at roughly the same height as your shoulders. Your feet should be directly beneath the anchor point.
Action: Perform push-ups, keeping your elbows relatively close to the body — don’t flare them outward.
To increase the difficulty, shorten the straps, elevating your feet.
Keep your spine straight throughout the exercise.
Bring your hands closer together to increase triceps involvement.