Good low impact chest workouts. Pec defining
February 20, 2014 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Would love to get any advice or experience on good exercises to tone-shape pec area of chest. Any low impact excercises using body weight or dumbell use?
posted by gbcaine to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
You can bench press with dumbbells. The trouble with push-ups is that you've only got one weight really, so it's not as easy to scale to your ability level. Dumbbell presses are also lower-impact because you only need to do, say, 3 sets of 5, as opposed to like 25 or 30 all in one go.

Try also pec flies (more dumbbells!) as well.

Exrx is a great resource for this type of question, btw.

Is this to supplement an existing weight training program?
posted by en forme de poire at 5:14 PM on February 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

What do you mean by "low impact"? I ask because I think of low impact exercises as those that don't put undue repetitive strain on joints--e.g., cycling is low impact on leg joints, while running is high impact. Since weight training is usually done deliberately, with attention to form, and rarely more than 30-50 repetitions for any given exercise, it's hard for me to think of any weight training that would be high impact.

If there's some other definition of "low impact" that's current in the weight training world, please let me know what it is.

In any case, push-ups are pretty good for the chest. You can fine-tune the exercise, depending on your level of fitness, by using a wall, a staircase, a chair, or the edge of your bathtub as supports, before proceeding to the floor push-up.

Planks are also great all-around exercises that include the chest. If you've never done one, it might seem silly that doing a plank for a minute or two can be a challenge, but give it a shot.
posted by brianogilvie at 7:17 PM on February 20, 2014 [7 favorites]

Dips are the best bodyweight exercise for chest.

If you mean without any equipment, pushups are about your only choice.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 7:32 PM on February 20, 2014

There are lots of types of pushups. I'm a big fan of decline, wide grip, regular, and diamond. They tone my chest pretty well. You could wear weights to make your body heavier, or just do declines.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:41 PM on February 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

The Periodic Table of bodyweight exercises, divided by difficulty and focus area.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 7:59 PM on February 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding dips. Start slowly, though. They can be rough.
posted by msbadcrumble at 8:56 PM on February 20, 2014

That pushup link from 3FLryan is really clear and straightforward.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:14 AM on February 21, 2014

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