If you’re someone who consistently trains their upper body, but has lately found results have somewhat plateaued, then it might be time to start changing up your routines and incorporating new movements and exercises. As Bodybuilding.com says, “Eventually everyone will run into a point in their training when they have a stop in their progress whether it is muscle gain, strength increases or just overall performance.”
Basically, a plateau happens when our body no longer feels stressed by whatever it is we’re doing to it. And, while it doesn’t necessarily have to relate to the amount of weight you lift or the movements you perform – it could be something to do with nutrition, for example – switching out your usual routine for new exercises is a great course of action.
But, you might be stuck when it comes to ideas. Worry no more, as former world ranked pro duathlete Paul Sklar – who has previously shown us the importance of pull-ups – is on hand to provide a simple dumbbell superset chest workout that will see those gains return for good. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a flat bench to perform the three exercises on.
Claiming his superset will help you to “Ignite your chest”, Paul also says you don’t even need “a tremendous amount of weight since all are performed back to back,” i.e. a superset, where you don’t take a rest period in between each exercise. You only get to rest once you’ve completed all three.
Check out Paul Sklar’s dumbbell chest workout superset in the video below
Paul’s superset chest dumbbell workout comprises the following exercises:
- Dumbbell Pectoral Fly – The DB pectoral fly is an exercise that targets the entire chest area, but specifically helps to strengthen and tone the portion of the chest closest to your sternum. This helps to give off more well-defined pecs, helping them to look more pronounced in the process.
How to perform: Start by lying down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Start off with a light weight, as this movement is actually harder than it looks.
Hold both arms up in the air, with the dumbbells practically touching. Slowly lower your arms out to the sides, incorporating a slight bend in the elbow as you do so. You want to aim to get your hands in line with your chest, but don’t go beyond this point.
Engage your chest muscles to bring your arms back up to the starting position. A common mistake is for people to use their arm muscles instead, which makes the movement virtually pointless for building your chest. If the weight feels heavy, you can also use your feet to plant into the floor to help give you some extra stability.
- Close Grip Chest Press with Pectoral Fly – Adding some variation into the pectoral fly movement previously mentioned, instead of simply starting with your arms up in the air, you can use a close grip chest press.
How to perform: Start by holding the dumbbells in a neutral grip (palms forward inward) and with both dumbbells up in the air, practically touching each other. Slowly lower them down towards your chest, still being held close to each other. Push back up, engaging your chest as you do so, until your arms are back at their starting positions, then perform a pectoral fly in the same as the first exercise.
- 1-1-2 Dumbbell Chest Press – Why just perform a regular dumbbell chest press when you increase the difficultly and the gains by adding in a couple more steps? This exercise sees you perform a dumbbell chest press as you normally would, but with the addition of pressing each arm individually as well. Holding one arm in the air whilst the other performs a press helps to put extra tension on the non-moving arm, targeting your shoulders and even your core in the process.
How to perform: Lying down on a bench, hold both dumbbells with an overhand grip in the air, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower both down until they reach your chest and press back up, using your chest muscles, as opposed to your arms to do so. Now, leave one arm in the air and bring the other down until it meets your chest. Press this arm back and repeat with the other arm. Once you have completed the chest press and both arms individually, this counts as one rep.
Performing all three chest exercises back to back is sure to have your chest feeling like it’s on fire. Aim to complete four rounds of the superset, with 8 – 10 repetitions per exercise.
T-shirt popping pecs await.