The pectoralis major, or chest muscles, are mostly responsible for exercises like the bench press and its variations, forward-leaning dips and chest flyes.
The chest is one of the most impressive and popular muscles because of their sheer size and visual appeal; which also means they need a lot of attention in the gym. To build big pecs you need a combination of pressing movements (Bench press) and ones which focus on internal rotation of the shoulders (Flyes)
The hammer-grip dumbbell bench press is a recommended choice for proper training of the pectoralis major due to its effectiveness and safe grip position.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Pectoralis Major
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Bench, dumbbells
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Position yourself on a flat bench with dumbbells on your knees.
- Kick dumbbells back while you lie on the bench so the dumbbells are in a pressing position on each side of your chest.
- Slightly arch your back and keep your feet back and planted on the floor.
- Twist the dumbbells to a hammer grip (Neutral) position.
- Press the dumbbells up while fully extending the arms and contract your chest muscles.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells to where you feel a little stretch in your chest muscles.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- You can a machine with a hammer, or neutral grip as an alternative to the hammer-grip dumbbell bench press.
- Make sure your arms are at a 45-degree angle from your body to support the shoulder joint and to perform the movement properly.
- The hammer grip is generally safer for the shoulders since the position protects the shoulders but you have to use slightly less weight than you would a standard dumbbell bench press.