Barbell exercises normally allow you to use
more weight, so you develop maximum mass and strength. Dumbbell
exercises give you a longer range of motion, so you get more extension
and contraction. Cables allow you to work at a variety of angles, so you
get more shaping for a better finished look. A disadvantage of machine
training for the chest is that the apparatus only lets you work at very
specific angles, but you can turn that to an advantage if you want to
work the muscle at that angle to develop a weak area.
Dumbbell Flys are ideal for developing the
outer pecs, but you need to employ a particular technique to get the
most out of this movement. Lie on a bench and let the dumbbells down
just as far as you can. Then when you come up, stop about three-quarters
of the way. This technique puts all the effort on the outer pecs and
never lets them disengage from the exercise.
But you can use dumbbell flys to work
the inner pectorals as well, by bringing the weights all the way up
squeezing the muscles together at the top, and even crossing the
dumbbells over slightly to get a full contraction of the inner
Inner pectoral development in general
comes about by working the top range of pectoral movements - a Bench
Press with a narrower grip, for example, with the bar pushed all the way
up; or Cable Crossovers, letting the arms cross over each other, which
really contracts the inner pecs.
Decline exercises work the lower pec
region more intensely. These include Decline Presses, Decline Flys,
Decline Cable movements, and Dips. We like Dips because, by bending
farther forward or holding yourself straighter, you can change the way
the stress hits the muscle even right in the middle of a set.
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