Workout 12: Chest & Biceps
1. Stop-and-Release Push Up
- Starting out in a regular push-up position, hands slightly more than shoulder-width.
- Engage your core and lower the body all the way to the ground in a slow, controlled movement.
- With your chest on the ground, lift your hands off the ground, squeezing shoulders together.
- Place your palms back onto the ground and complete the push up. This is one rep.
2. Decline Prayers
- Stand upright with your knees slightly bent.
- Place your hands together in a praying position in front of your chest. Your elbows should be pointing out to your sides and your fingers pointing ahead of you while pushing tightly against each other.
- Slowly move your hands outward away from your body so that your arms fully extend, town toward your hips and away from your chest, while your hands are still positioned together and pushing tightly against each other.
- To feel this movement to its highest extent, you want to be pushing your hands together as tightly as you possible. You can try putting a weighted plate between your hands to increase the difficulty.
- Bring your wrists back in toward your chest.
3. Incline Push Up
Stand facing a sturdy ottoman, bed, couch, bench, etc.
Position your hands on the edge of the furniture, slightly more than shoulder-width apart, ensuring that your elbows are not locked in place. Step your feet back until your back is straight and you are resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.
Keeping your body straight through the entire exercise, lower yourself down toward the furniture slowly and with control until your chest touches the furniture.
Push your body upward, away from the furniture until you reach the original position. Do this to failure for each set.
*Try different heights of furniture for variety and to utilize slightly different muscles each time.
4. Decline Push Up
- Begin on hands and knees, hands on the ground at shoulder-width or slightly wider (you won’t want to go wider than this or your range of motion will be severely limited).
- Lift one leg and position it atop a sturdy piece of furniture (bench, ottoman, etc.). Do this for the other leg. Ensure that your body is in a straight line before continuing. Pay attention to hips and buttocks and ensure that they aren’t caving or arching. Double check hand placement and ensure that arms are extended.
- Bend at the elbow and allow your chest to lower. You’ll find yourself looking upward slightly. This is normal, just ensure that you don’t try to compensate the movement with your back or buttocks.
- Push yourself back to the starting position, being careful not to lock your elbows. This is one rep.
1. Doorway Curl
- Stand in a doorway, facing the doorjamb, one foot in the doorway, the other on the outside of it.
- With your hands positioned at chest-height, grip the doorjamb. Position your feet so they’re close to the doorjamb and in a narrow stance.
- Lean your body back, extending your arms. This is your starting position.
- Engage your biceps and slowly pull your body toward the doorjamb. When you reach the doorjamb, contract your muscle. This is one rep.
*Note: For added challenge, step closer to the doorjamb or even straddle the wall with your feet.
2. Towel Curl
- Grab a towel or t-shirt, hold it in both hands, palms facing upward and stand with knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the towel out in front of you with your arms extended, and pull on both sides of the t-shirt or towel as hard, as you can as if you were trying to rip it.
- As you continue to try to rip the towel or t-shirt, slowly curl your arms toward your body, as though you were curling a barbell.
- When your hands reach your chest, slowly return to the starting position and repeat until the set is complete. Remember to KEEP trying to rip the towel throughout the entire exercise.
3. Flexing Hammer Curl
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your elbows should be tucked in close to your torso and your palms should be facing your torso.
- Keep your upper arm stationary as you contract your biceps and curl your arms directly upward. Continue to raise your arms until your biceps are fully contracted and your wrist is at shoulder-level. Focus on only moving your forearm.
- After a brief pause, slowly begin to lower your arms back down to the starting position.
4. Curl Your Leg
- Position yourself on a chair, sitting with only your buttocks is on the seat, knees bent.
- Take your left hand and grasp your right leg, under the knee. Your leg will serve as your resistance weight. Ensure that your leg remains “dead weight” through this exercise.
- Engage your bicep muscles in your left hand and lift your right leg. Hold for a count of two, contracting your muscles at the top of the movement.
- Return to starting position. Repeat for the opposite side.