Chris Hemsworth has just dropped a beaut of a chest workout that draws on some of the best chest exercises. Complete the circuit in full, and your pecs will soon be poppin’.
Chris Hemsworth knows a thing or two about what constitutes an effective workout. Whether it’s utilising a single barbell to complete a full body workout or using a medicine ball to improve functional strength, the Australian poster boy and star of Thor understands which exercises are going to offer the greatest reward.
That’s especially true of his latest chest workout circuit, which Chris recently posted to his Instagram account and his Centr workout app. Employing just four exercises to be repeated four times, it’s a simple circuit but one that uses chest exercises that actually work.
Chris Hemsworth’s chest circuit comprises the following movements:
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press x 12: The incline press is regarded as one of the finest chest exercises anyone can perform and, using dumbbells as opposed to a barbell is also seen as being more effective. This is because using dumbbells allows for a greater range of motion to really target the pectoral muscles, and by having individual weight in each hand, rather than having it spread across a barbell, means you’ll need to engage other muscle groups more to provide stabilisation.
To perform, set a bench to no more than a 45-degree angle. Grab a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip. If you’re going heavy (if you’ve not performed this exercise before, choose lighter weights) then position the dumbbells on their ends on your knees first, and, as you fall back into position on the bench, flick your knees up so you can safely get the dumbbells into their starting position.
Once in position, angle the dumbbells to a 45-degree angle and press up. Slowly bring the dumbbells back down, making sure you don’t flare your elbows out too far out to the sides. You want your hands to fall roughly in line with your nipples. Perform for 12 reps.
Seated Chest Press x 12: Some avid gym junkies may claim machines are far inferior to using free weights. While they may require less engagement of other muscle groups for stabilisation, machines offer a much safer medium to lift weight and will naturally guide your body through the correct range of motion, so there can be a great benefit to using them.
Plus, if it’s good enough for Chris, then it’s good enough for us.
To perform a seated chest press, take a seat and adjust the height so that your hands are line with your nipples. Load up some weight and grab the handles using an overhand grip. Now, simply press the handles out and return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner. You don’t necessarily need to lock your arms out at the end, but just until there is a slight bend in the elbow. Repeat for 12 reps.
Cable Fly x 10: The cable machine is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment that you really should be using. The major benefit of using cables is that they apply tension to the muscles throughout the duration of the movement, even when returning to the starting position.
The pulleys can also be set to various heights to allow you to target various muscle groups and specific areas of a specific muscle group. In Chris’ case for his chest workout, he has set the pulleys to around chest height. With the pulleys and weight set, grab the handle attachments using a neutral grip (palms facing inwards).
Next, with your arms starting out to your sides with just a slight bend in the elbow, engage your chest muscles to allow you to pull the handles towards each other so they meet in the middle. Slowly return them back out to the sides (you don’t need to have your arms go behind your body) and repeat.
Wide Arm Push-Up x 10: Push-ups are an incredibly effective bodyweight chest exercise that you can perform literally anywhere. There are many variations of push-up you can perform but in Chris’ case, he is utilising a wide arm stance, which helps to target both the chest muscles and shoulder muscles, more effectively than a standard push-up.
However, as with any push-up variation, form is incredibly important. To perform wide arm push-ups, start in a plank position with your hands positioned wider than shoulder width. Slowly lower your body to the floor until your chest falls just below your elbows. Engaging your core, press back up until you return to the starting position.
Make sure to keep your spine, shoulders and hips in a straight line throughout the duration of the exercise. Repeat for 10 reps.
And that’s one round of the circuit done. Chris says once you’ve finished one round, rest for one minute and to perform the entire circuit a total of four times.
It may seem simple enough, but with only a short rest period in between circuits, it’s going to be one that will have you working as you’ve never worked before.
Only the most brutal workouts for the God of Thunder will suffice, of course.