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Workout 48: Chest & Abs


Chest Exercises

1. Flat Bench Press

Caution: In order to protect yourself, it is best to have a spotter help you.

  1. Start by lying back on a flat bench. Use an overhand grip that is wider than your shoulder-width to lift the bar from the rack. Hold it directly above you with your arms fully extended.
  2. Inhale and begin lowering the bar toward your chest until your elbow creates a 90° angle. 
  3. After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you exhale. Focus on  using your chest muscles to push up the bar.
  4. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the  motion. Hold for a second and then slowly begin lowering the bar.

2. Decline Bench Press

Caution: In order to protect yourself, it is best to have a spotter help you.

  1. Start by securing your legs under the brace at the bottom of the decline bench and lie down.
  2. Using an overhand medium-width grip, lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over your chest with your arms full extended. Your arms should be perpendicular to the ground. 
  3. As you inhale, lower the bar toward your chest until your elbows reach a 90° angle.
  4. Pause for a second, then use your chest muscles to push the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in at the contracted  position. Hold for a second and then start to lower the bar down slowly.


3. Incline Dumbbell Press

  1. Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand atop your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
  2. Then, using your thighs to help push the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder-width.
  3. Once you have the dumbbells raised to shoulder-width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position.
  4. Be sure to keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Then, breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest.
  5. Lock your arms at the top, hold for a second, and then start slowly lowering the weight. Note: Ideally, lowering the weights should take about twice as long as raising them.
  6. Repeat the movement for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  7. When you are done, place the dumbbells back on your thighs and then on the floor. This  is the safest manner to release the dumbbells.

4. High To Low Cable Fly

  1. Move the pulleys to the highest position and select the same resistance for each D-handle.
  2. Stand between both pulleys with your arms extended out to your sides. Grasp both handles with an overhand grip while keeping your feet aligned with the pulleys.
  3. Remaining upright and keeping a slight bend in your elbows, pull your arms close together in front of your body. 
  4. After a pause at the peak contraction, return your arms back to the starting position.

5. Push-Up

  1. Position yourself face-down on the ground and place your hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your back as straight as possible, push your body off the ground, through your hands.
  2. Inhale as you lower yourself downward, until your chest nearly touches the ground.
  3. Exhale and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest, arms, and abdominal muscles.

Ab Exercises


1. Kneeling Cable Crunch

Caution: Do not choose a weight that is too heavy. This can result in straining your lower back.

  1. Find a cable station and attach a rope handle to the top pulley. Grasp the rope attachment at each end, and kneel down so your knees are bent at a 90° angle.
  2. Your arms should be stretched over your head. Your palms should be facing each other when holding the rope and your hands should be placed next to your face.
  3. Slightly flex your hips forward. There should be tension on the cable, and you should feel a stretch in your abs.
  4. Keep your hips stationary, contract your abs, and crunch your chest towards your hips until your head is between your knees. Your elbows should be approaching the middle of your thighs. After reaching this point, hold the contraction for a second.
  5. Slowly reverse back to the starting position. Keep as much tension in your abs during this whole movement.

2. Starfish Crunch

  1. Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out into an “X” position. 
  2. In one movement, bring one arm straight up across your body while simultaneously lifting your opposing leg and lifting your head. 
  3. Attempt to touch one arm to your opposite ankle, or try to come as close as you can.
  4. Alternate sides.

3. V-Up

  1. Lie straight on your back with your legs together and your arms together, straight above your head.
  2. In one motion, raise your legs off the floor while keeping them straight. Also raise your torso and hands to meet your legs in the middle of your body.  
  3. Repeat!

4. Table Top Elbow to Knee Crunch

  1. Get in a tabletop position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Hold your body up off the floor in this position. Hold a light dumbbell in your right hand. 
  2. From this position, extend your right arm out in front of you and extend your left leg straight out behind you. 
  3. Next, crunch your abs by bringing your right elbow to meet your left knee in the middle of your body. 
  4. Extend them again and repeat. 
  5. Make sure to finish one side before switching hands and doing the other side.