Tuesday Strength Training:

Flat Bench Press:

Target muscles are the Pectorals, Anterior Deltoids, and Triceps. Also works Upper Back – Traps.

The flat bench press is an excellent strength training exercise for building mass in your chest.

1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor, keeping your back, shoulders, and head positioned on the bench.

2. With your hands shoulder width apart, grip the barbell overhand with your elbows directly under your wrists.

3. Lift the barbell off the rack and hold the weight at arm’s length.

4. Inhale while lowering the barbell toward your nipple line, keeping the motion controlled without jerking the weight.

5. While exhaling, press the weight and explode up when the bar is within 2 inches of your chest.
Complete all 5 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of six reps to complete the exercise.

Note: Bouncing the barbell off your chest will increase the possibility of arching your lower back during the move and can lead to serious injury.

Using your legs to drive the weight out of the bottom of the move will provide more power for your lift and allow you to increase the amount of weight you lift. This is done by squeezing the Gluteus with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

A spotter should be used during the lift to reduce the chance of injury.

Using a close grip will focus more on the Triceps and Anterior Deltoids, a wider grip will focus more on the Pectorals.

If you experience shoulder pain or discomfort, you should alter your grip, reduce the weight you’re pressing, or stop the move altogether.

Incline Bench Press:

Target muscles are the Chest, particularly the hard to target Upper Pectoral Muscles. Also works the Deltoids & Triceps.

You will most likely need a stationary inclined bench with a weight rack attached.

Working your chest from all angles is the key to accomplishing great overall chest development. A variation on the Flat Bench Press, the bulk of the muscle action is focused on the upper pectorals during an Incline Bench Press. But the Deltoids are targeted as well, and used almost as much as the Pectorals. In addition, a great deal of Triceps involvement is used when executing this exercise.

1. Once your seat height is properly adjusted, so you can easily grab the barbell, remove it from the rack and add some weights to the bar. Or, if this is a new exercise for you, just use the bar until you are used to removing and replacing it on the rack.

2. Seated, with your back flush against the padded back, place your feet on the foot bar keeping your back balanced on the padded back rest.

3. Grab the bar with a shoulder width grip and remove it from the rack. The bar is behind your head due to the angle of the bench, so bring it over in front of you. Now, your arms should be fully extended in the air and holding the bar directly above your chest. This is your starting position.

4. Slowly lower the bar to your upper chest while keeping your body as steady as possible throughout the move to avoid injury.

5. Raise the bar slowly back to your starting position. Just before, or right at the point where your elbows are locked with your arms straight and fully extended (lockout), you will feel a tightness and contraction in your chest muscles, particularly your upper chest. When you feel this contraction and tightness, be sure to hold it briefly and then repeat the exercise for 6 repetitions.

Complete all 5 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of six reps to complete the exercise.

Note: Be sure to have a spotter available in case you cannot complete a repetition.
Do not arch your back off the bench during this exercise. If you feel the need to arch your back to complete the lift, lower your weight load to prevent injury.

Decline Bench Press:

Target muscles are the Chest muscles. Also works the Shoulders & Triceps.

You should work your way to the decline press since it is a free weight and demands more control. Start out with the Flat Bench Press for several weeks before moving forward with the Decline Press. This workout will build your middle and upper chest muscles as well.

1. For this difficult exercise, do not attempt to lift as much weight as you would with a Flat Bench Press. With that in mind, place the appropriate weight for you level of fitness on the bar.

2. Sit on the bench with your feet curled under the footpads and flex your feet.

3. Lie back on the bench without banging your head on the barbell. Keep your head, neck, and back in line.

4. Grab the bar loosely with your hands a little more than shoulder width apart. Lift the bar slowly from the rack and bring it to your chest.

5. While exhaling, press the bar upward with a quick motion. Do not arch your back!

6. Inhale, as you lower the bar down in a slow controlled move to within a few inches of your chest.
Complete all 6 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of three reps to complete the exercise. Increase your future reps according to your fitness level.

Note: Whenever possible, use a spotter for this exercise.

Do not bounce the bar off your chest, it will increase the possibility of arching your lower back during the move and can lead to serious injury.

Triceps Cable Pushdown:

Target muscles are the Triceps. Also works the Forearms.

Strong Triceps, although less visible, are the foundation for strong arms. A Triceps Pushdown is a great way to isolate your training on this important muscle group.

You will most likely need a universal weight station for this exercise.

1. Adjust the weight setting for the straight bar at the station attached to the top pulley. This bar can be used to perform various exercises. Start with a low weight that produces a slight burn after a few reps.

2. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip and your hands close together, less than a shoulder width. Start the range of motion at about chest level and keep your feet about a shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent.

3. Push down the bar, fully extending your arms with your elbows tucked in close to your body, but not locked. Tighten your abs, keeping your back straight as you push down. Remember, you are isolating the Triceps, so you don’t want to bend too far forward engaging your shoulder and back muscles during the exercise.

4. Follow the upward motion of the bar, returning to your starting point at about chest level. Keep a smooth continuous motion on the way up as sudden stops and starts will add to muscle soreness.
Complete all 4 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of twelve reps to complete the exercise. Increase your future reps according to your fitness level.

Note: Overtraining the Triceps will break down muscle, causing soreness, making your continued training difficult.

Incline Dumbbell Fly:

Target muscles are the Upper Pectorals and Shoulders.

You will need dumbbells.

Unlike any other exercise to work your pectorals, this will blast your pectorals without the aid of your Triceps. The Incline Dumbbell Fly will improve range of motion while building mass and the shape of your chest.

1. Lay with your back flat on a bench with the incline at about 30 degrees. Keep your back straight with your feet planted firmly on the ground.

2. With a dumbbell in each hand, while inhaling, fully extend your arms holding the weight straight above you and positioned so your hands make a direct vertical line with your neck. Your palms should be facing one another.

3. While exhaling, lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner out to the side of your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent and arms outstretched. Do this with an arcing motion until your elbows and chest form a straight horizontal line and feel the stretch in your pectorals. Do not continue the motion past this point.

4. Raise the dumbbells back up using the same arcing motion lifting the weight with your pectoral muscles, not your arms or shoulders. Squeeze your pects at the top of the move for peak contraction.

Complete all 4 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of twelve reps to complete the exercise. Increase your future reps according to your fitness level.

Note: Use a spotter when available to monitor your technique and assist with the lifting and dropping of the weight.

Do not increase the weight of the dumbbells until the proper technique is established.

If experience pain or discomfort in your shoulder joints you should try lowering the dumbbell weight load. If pain persists, you may be placing too much emphasis on your shoulders when the focus should be on your pectoral muscles stretching and contracting during the exercises.

Arching your back at any point during this exercise may lead to serious back pain or injury.

Triceps Dumbbell Kickback:

Target muscles are the Triceps. Also works the Forearms.

You will need dumbbells.

Using a dumbbell, you can work your Triceps one arm at a time with a Triceps Kickback.

1. Starting off with light weight is important, so find a dumbbell you can handle easily. With the dumbbell in your right hand, place your left knee on a flat bench and lean forward with your upper body almost parallel to the floor and place your left hand palm down flat on the bench in front of you for balance and support. Do not bear down on your supporting arm and do not lock out your left elbow or your right knee.

2. Your right hand is holding the dumbbell in an overhand grip down by your side. Keeping your elbow tucked to your side, raise your arm until it is bent to a 90 degree angle with your upper arm parallel to the floor and your forearm is hanging straight down by your side. At this point, be sure your chest is out, abs in, back is flat, and your neck is lined up with your back. This is your starting position.

3. Extend your forearm straight back to full extension, level with your shoulder, while keeping your upper arm tight to your side. When you feel a tightness or contraction in your Tricep Muscle, hold it and squeeze your tricep.

4. Lower your forearm slowly back to the starting position at the 90 degree bend. Repeat for 8 repetitions and then change your stance to work your left arm.

Complete all 4 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of eight reps, alternating sides, to complete the exercise. Increase your future reps according to your fitness level.

Note: Rocking or swaying your body can cause injury because you can’t handle the weight. If you find yourself doing this, lower the weight load on the dumbbell.

To avoid injury, keep your back and abs tight during the exercise.

Keep your elbow in line with your shoulder. The only movement for this exercise is your forearm.

Seated Barbell Military Press:

Target muscles are the lateral (middle) head of the Deltoid Shoulder muscle. Also works the Triceps, Upper Back – Traps.

AKA the Shoulder Press, this exercise was named for the way soldiers raise their rifles over their heads as part of their training.

1. Locate a shoulder press station consisting of a chair designed to hold a barbell. Place the bar at the same height as your shoulders when you are seated. The chair should be adjusted to a completely vertical position. You can also work off a flat bench with a barbell weight rack.

2. Load the bar with an equal amount of weight on each side, enough to cause failure in 12 to 15 reps.

3. Grasp the bar at shoulder width, with your forearms parallel to one another. Keeping your back straight, with the weight of the bar resting in your palms, inhale deeply and lift the bar, extending your arms fully over your head without locking your elbows. Exhale forcefully.

4. While inhaling, lower the bar slowly until your elbows are at shoulder level. Hold and squeeze your triceps and shoulder muscles.

5. Exhale and bring the bar back up to repeat the exercise.

Complete all 5 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of twelve reps to complete the exercise. Gradually increase the weight until you fail at 8 – 10 repetitions.

Note: Always keep your back on the chair and your feet on the floor.

Use a spotter to hand you the barbell and decrease the stress on your rotator cuffs.

Use a spotter while lifting the heavy bar directly over your head.

Do not perform this exercise standing if you have lower back trouble.

Lowering the bar behind your neck is not recommended.

Triceps Dips:

Target muscles are the Chest, Shoulders & Triceps. Also works the Forearms.
The tricep muscles on the back of the upper arm are a difficult area to tone, even more so for women. The triceps dip utilizes your own body weight for resistance and can be performed anywhere without weights.

1. Stand in front of a bench or chair with your back to it. Be sure it is sturdy enough to hold your body weight.

2. Grip the bench with your palms down, knuckles facing forward, and your hands not quite a shoulder width apart. Bend at the knees so your legs are at a 90 degree angle. 

3. Lower your body by bending at the elbow while exhaling slowly. Your hips should be kept straight and elbows should not point out away from the
body. You should lower until you feel a slight stretch in your shoulders.

4. Inhaling slowly through your nose, push through your palms lifting your body back up until your arms are almost straight without locking your elbows. Perform enough reps to work the muscle to fatigue without causing pain. Rest your triceps for one minute between reps.

Complete all 4 steps of this exercise for one repetition. Perform 3 sets of twelve reps to complete the exercise. As you become stronger, you can increase your weight using a dip belt.
Note: To reduce muscle soreness, stretch lightly when you finished.

You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by moving your legs out further in front of you.

Consult with a physician before performing this exercise if you have pain in, or trouble with your wrists or elbows.

Leaning forward works your pectorals Harder, and keeping your back straight works you Triceps harder.

Pushups:

Target muscles are the Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps.

This is a great way to tone the upper body when done correctly.

1. With your back and arms straight, hold yourself up with your toes and hands on the floor. Your hands should be a little more than shoulder width apart and your abdominal muscles tightened.

2. Lower yourself to the floor while inhaling and stop when your elbows reach a 90 degree bend keeping your body from touching the floor.

3. While exhaling, push yourself away from the floor without locking your elbows or bending your back.

Complete all 3 steps of this exercise 30 times.

Note: You can add to the challenge by placing your hands on chair height target for an incline pushup.

Jog 3 miles:

Jogging properly will spare you injury. To do this, you need the proper shoes and the proper form. Buy your shoes in a store that can offer professional help with the right fit.

1. When you jog, your shoulders should be back and your arms relaxed with your hands cupped loosely. Allow your arms to swing naturally in rhythm with your elbows bent at your waist.

2. Keep your feet and knees facing forward using the heel-to-toe-technique as you jog, landing on the heel, rolling forward to the ball of the foot and then pushing off from the toes.

3. Breathe in a relaxed fashion through your mouth and nose keeping your body loose and fluid. Your style will develop the more you jog.

4. Keep your body at the same angle on a hill as you do on a flat ground. Your stride shortens as you jog uphill, so use your arm swing to increase your momentum.

5. Reduce the impact on your legs and joints by jogging on soft surfaces like grass and vary your terrain with alternate routes.

6. Walk a few hundred yards to warm up and cool down before and after you jog.

Note: Concentrate on an even stride to decrease the chance of injury.

Take care not to lean backward going down a hill.

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