Best Chest Workout For Building Muscle After 50
Retirees and baby boomers are hitting the gyms in greater numbers as they start to free up more time in their lives and focus on creating quality in their lives by being fit and active and building muscle after 50. This best chest workout is one that recognizes the age factor and provides a series of exercises that are effective, ergonomically and biomechanically sound and user friendly. Importantly this is a workout for anyone at any age! Its focus is on maximizing muscle growth and minimizing injury.
First up, lets look at the muscle in question. The pectoralis major is a large muscle group in the upper body. The chest muscles spread across the upper torso, so the best chest workout is achieved by initially using moderate weights and strict form in a number of exercises that focus on the upper, lower, inner and outer pecs.
The pecs are ‘pushing’ muscles. When you work your chest, your triceps and deltoids also get some work. Therefore this best chest workout has the added benefit of hitting these muscles as well.
Exercises for the best chest workout for building muscle after 50:
Barbell Bench Press – The bench press is the first exercise considered in building lean muscle mass. This exercise may be performed in a variety of ways by using different benches, grips, angles and weights. However, for this best chest workout it is very important to keep good strict form and maintain a grip slightly wider than shoulder width and no more than that. Wide grip bench presses for example put enormous pressure on shoulder joints and should be avoided. A best chest workout needs to ensure injury possibilities are kept to a minimum.
When the bar is lowered to the middle of the chest and the elbows are kept at the lifter’s sides, the triceps are involved in moving the weight. When the bar is lowered to the neck and the elbows are splayed widely, the frontal deltoids are involved with the pecs.
The bench press may be performed on an incline board and the bar lowered to the neck. This will exercise the upper pecs. When performed on the decline board, the lower pecs are worked. I recommend adjusting hand width a little being very careful to not go too wide or too narrow. This puts additional stress on your joints through your shoulders, elbows and wrists.
Dumbbell Bench Press – Dumbbells may be used for a number of bench exercises that closely resemble the barbell lifts. The best chest workout should incorporate dumbbell presses, particularly if there has been a history of shoulder problems. The advantage with dumbbells is that each arm pushes through its natural arc and rotation of movement – this minimizes irritation potential pushing through an uncomfortable range.
This is an important differentiation in regards to barbells as the dominant arm can often guide a weaker or injured arm through an arc of motion that further irritates or injures it when using barbells.
I recommend doing these exercises on an adjustable incline bench and moving the pin accordingly to create different angles to work your chest. Importantly DO NOT lower your dumbbells too far down by overly emphasizing the stretch. This is an injury risk. Keep your form strict and your range of motion tight.
Cable-And-Pulley Machine – This machine is very good for chest finishing exercises where the exercise begins with arms spread wide with the handles then being brought together in front of the chest, with the arms slightly bent at the elbow. The best chest workout approach is to ensure the weight is light with the intention here to deliberately contract the chest muscles to intensify the feel and the burn. Again, this is an exercise if performed too heavily and too loosely, can create injury. I recommend leaning into the movement and squeezing the muscle on each repetition. Importantly, reduce the range of movement so as to minimize injury.
Bent-Arm-Pullover – This move is to be performed on a flat bench with a light dumbbell by laying down and reaching back over the head and stretching the rib cage. Keeping your arms bent, the weight is then brought to the chest in a circular motion.
The best chest workout should be performed in the 10-15 rep range for the first month or two. Following that weights can be increased with the focus on performing 10 strict repetitions. By focusing initially on 10-15 reps this ensures your ligaments and muscles will not be lifting too heavy too soon, thus minimizing injury.
I strongly recommend the use of a personal trainer at least initially if the gym scene is new for you. The best chest workout is a great place to start. Be patient. Warm up thoroughly, and complete your workout session within 60 minutes. Building lean muscle safely is the way to go when you are building muscle after 50.
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