The chest and arms each comprise two main muscles: pectoralis major clavicular and sternal head, and bicep and triceps brachii, respectively. The former two muscles of the chest act to flex the shoulders in the horizontal direction, such as when doing a hugging motion. The latter two muscles of the arm have opposing functions, as the biceps flexes, or bends, the arm, while the triceps extends the arm. All of these actions are simple to perform, and there are several basic exercises you can do that involve the actions.
Flat Dumbbell Fly
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand using a pronated, or overhand, grip, lie down on the flat bench, and position the dumbbells over your chest with your hands facing each other.
Flex your shoulders in the horizontal direction to lower the dumbbells out to the sides until they are ear chest level.
Extend your shoulders in the horizontal direction, such as a hugging motion, to raise the dumbbells up to the beginning position. Do three sets using light to moderate weights that allow for 10 to 12 reps, and take a two-minute rest period between each set.
Standing Dumbbell Curl
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated, or underhand, grip, position the dumbbell by your sides and stand with your body upright.
Flex, or bend, your elbows to raise the dumbbells up toward your front shoulders.
Extend your elbows to lower the dumbbells down to the start. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps using light to moderate weights, with a two-minute rest between each set.
Lying Dumbbell Extension
As a beginner, you should mainly do the simple exercises for the chest and arms for the first two to three months. This is necessary so you can develop a mind-muscle connection and be able to really feel the targeted muscles being worked. As you progress, you can then incorporate more advanced exercises into your workouts.
During the first couple of workouts, it is recommended you seek the help of an exercise professional, or have a training partner help to spot you during execution of the exercises. This is important to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly and minimize the risk of injury.
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand using a pronated grip, lie down on the flat bench, and position the dumbbells over your chest.
Flex your elbows to lower the dumbbells behind your head.
Extend your elbows to raise the dumbbells up to the beginning position. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps with light to moderate weights, and take a two-minute rest between each set.
Things You'll Need
Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.