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Workout 61: Chest & Triceps  


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 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.

4. Cable Fly

  1. Find a cable tower and set both pulleys at shoulder-height.
  2. Grab the handles, and bring the two handles together by contracting the chest, as if you were hugging a tree. Keep your arms very slightly bent, without further bending your elbow as you bring your arms together.  Your arms should not bend as you do the movement, but they should be very slightly bent throughout.  
  3. Slowly reverse the movement back to the starting position.  
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tricep Exercises


1. Skull Crusher

  1. Lie back on a flat or slightly inclined bench. Using an overhand grip, grasp the innermost grips on the EZ bar. Hold it with your elbows tucked in and your arms perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the bar by unlocking your elbows to a flexed position. Pause once the bar is directly above your forehead.
  3. Reverse the bar back to the starting position by extending your elbows while flexing your tricep.

2. Overhead Rope Extension

  1. Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells held in front of you.
  2. Raise the dumbbells above your head until your arms are stretched out straight.
  3. Slowly lower the weights back behind your head, being careful not to flare your elbows out too much.
  4. Once your forearms move beyond parallel to the floor bring the weight back up to the starting position. 
  5. Repeat! 

*Your upper arms and elbows should remain in place throughout the movement

3. Dip

  1. Hold your body above the bars with your arms fully extended and nearly locked into the starting position.
  2. Inhale and slowly lower yourself downward. Your torso should remain upright and your elbows should stay close to your body to help to better work your triceps. Lower yourself until a 90° angle is created between your upper arms and forearms.
  3. Exhale and push your torso back up using your triceps (feeling a slight stretch in your shoulders) to bring your body back to the starting position.

4. Crossbody Tricep Extension

  1. This is similar to the ordinary single arm tricep extension you’ve been doing, only here you’re extending across your body rather than straight down and back. The crossbody extension focuses on the lateral head while the ordinary tricep extension hits the long head in the back of the arm (although both exercises work the entire tricep!
  2. Lift a cable pulley all the way up and make sure there’s a single arm handle on it. 
  3. Grab the handle, and stand horizontally in relation to the the cable like the picture above. 
  4. Keeping your elbow in place and your wrist still, pull down and out until your tricep is completely flexed, hold for a moment, and slowly go back to the starting position.  
  5. Switch sides when you’ve finished.