This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Use dumbbell presses to target the entire body of your pectoral muscles.
Lie on your back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Both your head and your hips should be on the bench, with your feet flat and light on the floor. Extend both arms straight toward the ceiling with palms facing your feet. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart—they will never come closer together than this throughout the exercise (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, bend both elbows as you pull the weights down toward the floor. As you lower the weights, keep your chest high; try to isolate your pectorals rather than using your shoulder muscles. The dumbbells should remain in a vertical line above your elbows throughout this movement (see Photo 2).
- Continue to pull your elbows down until they are level with your back (see Photo 3).
- Hold briefly and reverse direction, pressing the dumbbells back toward the ceiling as you straighten your elbows. As you return to the starting position, keep the flexion in your chest without allowing your shoulders to pop up; do not let the weights touch at the top of your motion (see Photos 4 and 5).