Chest Raise

Submitted by debabrat on February 25, 2013

The chest raise is a compound exercise that helps build and tone the entire upper body by involving all muscle groups in the area. This is a very basic exercise that can be performed both with and without any gym equipment. You can alternate your arms in the exercise to make it more challenging.


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Chest raises are simply ups on belly, which are performed on a flat and hard surface. As its name suggests, this exercise tones and strengthens the chest muscles, shoulders, arms and upper arms. Apart from strengthening the upper body, it also helps in the stabilization of the shoulder joints and strengthening of the collarbone.

If you have experienced an injury to your collarbone or your shoulder joint, this is the ideal exercise to heal the muscles and stabilize the joints.

Chest raises can be alternated with back extension to get the benefit of an overall upper body workout routine. The back extensions involve the back muscles in the workout, and together these exercises take care of both your back and your chest. As the muscles in these areas strengthen, your core will also feel strengthened.

Before you begin with the exercise, it is extremely important to position your body properly. Find an area in your home where you have a firm but comfortable place to perform this exercise. Ensure that there is nothing to interfere with your exercise.

How Do You Perform Chest Raises?

Here are the steps.

Step 1: To begin with, place an exercise mat on the floor and position your body flat on it. Let your torso rest comfortably on the mat. Keep your hands pulled long towards your feet and allow your elbows to rest freely. Keep a pair of dumbbells near your shoulders where you can reach for them easily.

Step 2: Once you are positioned comfortably, start with the chest raises. Take a deep breath and grab the dumbbells in each hand.

Step 3: Extend your arms forward and lift them above the ground, involving only the muscles in the shoulders and upper arms. While your arms are thus raised, bring your dumbbells slightly closer.

Step 4: Exhale and start lowering your arms slowly back to their starting position. Repeat this 10 times, take a break and then perform two more sets of 10 repetitions each.

Making the Exercise More Challenging

While chest raises are challenging in themselves, there are ways in which you can make them even more challenging. Whether you are targeting weight loss or strength training, increasing the intensity of your exercise can really help you reach your goals more speedily. One of the easiest ways to increase the intensity of your exercise is to alternate the load bearing arms. Instead of lifting both arms at the same time and lowering them at the same time, try to lift and lower them alternately. This will help you increase the intensity with which your muscles get involved in the exercise. Alternating your arms also increases the amount of time for which you exercise and the intensity.

In fitness studios, you can perform this exercise using certain gym equipment. Simply talk to your fitness trainer to discuss how you can perform the exercise. There are certain Pilates equipment which may be used to increase the intensity of your exercise.

However, if you have had severe or recent injuries to your shoulders or chest, you should consult your doctor before you begin performing this exercise. While this exercise is simple, it is best to consult a fitness trainer before you perform it for the first time. Your body posture is very important for the exercise. If you are performing the exercise wrong, you may end up injuring your back or your chest.


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