Hi there, Jill Conyers readers!
I’m Lauren from The Bikini Experiment. I am excited to be here today and so excited that Jill graciously accepted my offer to guest post on her blog. On my site I share information on fitness, healthy recipes and my adventures living in Austin, Texas.
Jill and I are very much on the same page with our approach to fitness. Huge gains can be made through improving strength through progression. However, resistance exercise and building muscle should never be overwhelming. The best approach is to take small steps and learn gradually. The current training series on my blog is called Build Your Moves. The goal there is to learn how to effectively perform foundational exercises and make even more impact through small tweaks and variations.
I decided to share a simple upper body exercise here that you can easily incorporate into your next workout. You can perform this in or out of the gym so it’s perfect for an at home workout as well. All you will need is a mat and a pair of dumbbells.
For weight, I recommend selecting what challenges you, but not so much that you cannot perform 12-15 repetitions without stopping.
When I first started working out I honestly thought chest press exercises were just for men at the gym. No joke! However, after many years of experience and becoming a certified trainer I now know this is an absolutely essential movement for women as well.
Every time you perform an exercise you should ask yourself a few questions. Are you performing to the best of your ability? Have you made it tougher recently? Are you truly engaging the muscles you want to work? This is all key to maximizing any exercise in your workouts. Think hard work, but never a struggle.
Form is so crucial to maximizing the benefit of an exercise.
Focus on the task at hand and do not allow yourself to get distracted. This is your time to yourself and if you are not performing an exercise properly you run the risk of injury. Use a mirror if you are having trouble determining if you are executing a movement properly. I am going to be showing you simple variations on a floor press here. I say simple, but that does not mean that this exercise is easy by any means!
Let’s look at some of the basic ideas to think about to get your form as solid as possible:
- Tuck your tailbone under you and draw the lower abs in so that your low back is pressed to the floor. Draw your pelvic floor muscles up.
- Think of pushing your body into the floor vs. pressing the dumbbells into the air.
- Do not allow the shoulders to round or shrug the shoulders up toward the ears. Instead, squeeze the muscles of the armpits down at the top to keep this from happening.
- As an alternative you could also substitute light kettlebells if you have them available to you.
These additional cues to perform the movement will also apply to all of the variations as well:
When you press up make sure you extend your arms to a full lock out. This means the elbows are straight – no bend.
Lower the dumbbells by pulling the arms down from under the armpits in the lat muscles.
Floor Press with Two Dumbbells
Floor Press with One Dumbbell
Floor Press in Glute Bridge Position (Two Dumbbells)
If you perform these a few times and they start to feel easy then you are ready to upgrade your difficulty or add weight as an intermediate step.
I hope you try one (or all) of these variations of the floor press! Adding a movement like this 3-4 times a week will have a significant impact on increasing upper body strength.
I would love to chat:
Do you include chest press in your workouts? If you have any questions about the chest press leave a comment and Lauren (or I) will get back to you with an answer.
For most women, looking sexy in a Bikini feels like an Experiment. It did for me.
Lauren is a reformed skinny-fat girl who has discovered muscles, confidence and bikini living with lifting weights and eating protein. Once upon a time, a corporate marketer for real estate, she is now a fitness entrepreneur with a passion for helping other women find the solutions to their own Bikini Experiment. Lauren is a Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coach and NSCA Certified Personal Trainer.
Check out more from Lauren on TheBikiniExperiment.com.
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