Here is the best chest exercise to perform in your workouts and why it is such a great exercise.
The best chest exercise is the flat dumbbell press. Not only will it help you develop your chest muscles to their full potential but it will also dramatically improve your strength on other chest exercises, particularly the barbell bench press.
Here’s why the flat dumbbell press is the best chest exercise:
Let’s examine these benefits in more detail.
It works most of the chest muscle fibres
The primary action of pec major is horizontal adduction, which is moving the upper arm across the front of the body when it is in a horizontal plane (relative to the body). This movement involves most of the muscle fibres in the chest.
Since the flat dumbbell press involves the action of horizontal adduction, most of the muscle fibres in the chest get worked during that exercise.
It allows for a stretch of the muscles against resistance
Whenever a muscle gets stretched against resistance, more muscle fibres are broken down (microscopic muscle tears). This, in turn, stimulates more muscle growth.
When the same movement is performed with a barbell it is only possible to lower the bar to your chest. This means stretching of the muscles against resistance doesn’t occur to the same extent. Dumbbells allow a much longer range of motion and allow the chest muscles to stretch at the bottom position.
It requires a high degree of stabilisation
Since the dumbbells move independently of one another, a high degree of stability is required in order to control the movement of the dumbbells through space. This means that a greater number of muscle fibres in the targeted muscles as well as the surrounding muscles will be stimulated
Even though the flat dumbbell press is the best chest exercise, it does have some drawbacks.
Here are the drawbacks of the flat dumbbell press:
Getting the dumbbells into the correct position
One of the biggest drawbacks of performing the flat dumbbell press is the fact that it can be quite difficult getting the dumbbells into the correct starting position.
It generally requires lifting the dumbbells on to your knees first and then slowly lowering your body on to the bench. This can be quite awkward, especially when the weight being lifted gets heavy.
Risk of injury
Since the movement requires a high degree of technical skill, there is a significant injury risk. The most common injury resulting from flat dumbbell presses is a shoulder injury, particularly rotator cuff injuries. Therefore, make sure you always follow the safety tips for bodybuilders.
Running out of weight
Another major drawback of performing the flat dumbbell press is the fact that in a relatively short period of time you are likely to run out of weight. Most gyms these days only have dumbbells going up to 45 kilograms. Therefore, once your strength starts increasing, you will soon find that these dumbbells won’t be heavy enough.
Despite these drawbacks it is definitely worthwhile including the flat dumbbell press in your chest workouts. It will really make a significant difference in your chest development and strength.
For a demonstration of how to perform the flat dumbbell press correctly, please watch this video: