Workout 54: Chest & Abs  


Chest Exercises

1. Incline Bench Press

  1. Lie back on an incline bench. Make sure the bench is adjusted to between 15 and 30 degrees on an incline. Anything higher than 30 degrees mainly works the anterior deltoids (shoulders). Your grip should be where your elbows make a 90-degree angle.
  2. Using a shoulder-width grip, wrap your fingers around the bar with your palms facing away from you. Lift the bar up from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked.
  3. As you breathe in, come down slowly until the bar is an inch away from your chest. You want the bar to be in line with your upper chest the whole time. Your arms should be at a 45-degree angle and tucked into your sides.
  4. Hold this position for one count at the bottom of this movement and, with one big exhale, push the bar back up to your starting position. Lock your arms, hold, and come down slowly.

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. 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.

4. Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly

  1. Pick up the dumbbells, one in each hand, with your palms facing inward. Sit down on a flat bench and rest the dumbbells on your thighs.
  2. Before lying down, lift the dumbbells in front of you at shoulder-width keeping your palms facing each other. To get into position, lie back and keep the dumbbells close to your chest. 
  3. When you’re ready, press the dumbbells out and above you so that your arms are fully extended.
  4. Slightly retract your shoulder blades, unlock your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells laterally to create a wide arc while maintaining the angle at your elbow. You should feel stretch in your chest.
  5. Once the dumbbells reach your chest level, reverse the movement while trying not to let  the dumbbells touch.

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. Hanging Leg Lift

  1. Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. The legs should be straight down with the pelvis rolled slightly backwards. This will be your starting position.
  2. Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Hold for 0.5-1 seconds. 
  3. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

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. Russian Twist 

  1.  Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  2. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you, perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position.
  3. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
  4. Hold the contraction for a second and exhale, moving back to the starting position. Now, move to the opposite side, performing the same techniques you applied to the right side.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.