Chest Circuit Training

by Nick Ng

About Nick Ng

Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.

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Chest circuit training improves muscular endurance and burns more calories than performing each exercise individually, according to Juan Carlos Santana, director of the Institute of Human Performance. Select three to four exercises that train your chest using a pushing movement. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds without rest. When you have completed one circuit, rest for one minute or less, and repeat the circuit two more times.

Standard Push-ups

Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the ground and your legs extended behind you with your feet slightly apart. Keep your head, spine, hip and legs in alignment. Lower your torso and hip to the ground at a rate of two seconds until your chest and hip almost touch the ground. Exhale and push yourself back up.

Ball Alternate Dumbell Chest Press

Hold a 25-lb. dumbbell in each hand, and lay your head and upper back on top of a stability ball. Extend your arms over your chest with your feet hip-width apart. Lower your left arm toward your armpit with your elbows bent out to the side. Lift your left arm up, and lower your right arm to your armpit at the same time. Then lift your right arm up, and lower your left arm. Make each motion slow and smooth to get the most out of it and to prevent injury. Repeat this pattern for 30 seconds.

Standing Cable Chest Fly

Set the handles of the cable column machine to as high as your shoulders. Face away from the machine, and grab both handles. Stand with one leg in front of the other. Pull your arms together with your arms slightly bent in front of your chest. Keep your torso upright, and do not move your legs or body. Slowly open your arms to the side until your shoulder blades pull together.

Add in Pulling Exercises

Over-training with pushing exercises can cause your chest muscles to pull your upper spine forward, causing your body to hunch and your lower spine to lose its natural curve. Stretch your chest and perform pulling exercises, such as rows and pull-ups, can help balance your body, suggests physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance."

References (2)

  • "Essence of Program Design"; Juan Carlos Santana; 2004
  • "Athletic Body in Balance"; Gray Cook; 2003

Photo Credits:

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.