With the rising popularity of the fitness model phenomenon, a brief observation of some of its new champions would suggest a harkening back to what many consider the golden era of the Health and Fitness movement. Here the adorned characteristic of the “ideal” male physique place’s the pectorals as the show piece of the front panel. Yet the attainment of this highly visible feature can be a journey beset with hidden dangers and often it is the shoulders that receive the brunt of the collateral damage induced by the accomplishment of this task. To reduce the risk of unwanted shoulder damage below is an example of a program and some extra training tips to add mass to the chest without causing rampant destruction to vital supportive structures.

 Following the classic physique motif the below program is also structured in what could be described as a classic format.

 

The Safe Chest Program

 

Order

Exercise

Reps

Tempo

Sets

Rest

A1

Incline SS grip DB Press

4 – 6

4010

4

90’s

B1

Swiss Bar Bench Press

10 – 12

3010

3

60’s

C1

Thick Bar Floor Press

10 -12

2010

3

10’s

C2

Incline Rope fly

10 – 12

2111

3

90’s

 

Click hear to see video demonstration of the workout in action.

 

Training Tip 1: Mobilization

Before training engage in a quick upper body mobilization circuit using resistance bands to open out the chest and shoulder joints.

 

Training Tip 2: Foam Roller

In rest periods lie on foam roller using light weight to stretch pec minor and promote optimal spinal alignment.

DSC_0015

 

 

 

 

Training Tip 3: Use your Leg’s

Finally it is not only the structured avoidance of traditional pronated grip pressing movements that reduce the occurrence of shoulder impingements but also the manner in which pressing exercises are executed. To correctly load the body it’s essential that both optimal 45°arm angle and the seemingly nonsensical use of the lower extremities are implemented. When initiating the pressing movement the major leg muscles should be activated and driven hard into the floor. When applied these two technique tips can drastically improve your pressing as now the immovable object that is the earth provides your base of support leaving your shoulders free to fulfil their role as stabilisers.

 

Written By David Lewis October 2013