Fit Over 50 – Chest Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,476
    Fitness instructor Margie Weiss demonstrates how to get fit over 50 including exercises for the chest.

    Margie Weiss: Hi! I am Margie Weiss. This video is how to get fit over 50 and the segment that we're working in right now is exercises for the chest. There are two main exercises that we're going to work. But each of those exercises has three parts because there are a lot of different muscles in the upper body. The first exercise is going to be a bench press. Most people know what a bench press is because it's a real basic exercise. But we are going to do it just slightly differently than perhaps you have done it before. First I am going to make sure we're safe so we have our belly button down to our backbone, our glutes are squeezed fairly tightly and the heels are dug into the ground. Shoulders are away from the ears, let them drop. The neck is relaxed because it's not about the neck. You don't want to tighten your neck through all these exercises or it will get sore by the end of our workout. Basically bench press has the elbow straight out to the side and the shoulders low and the hands straight to the ceiling. Don't grip the weight so tightly that you have got the death grip and have white knuckles. You want to have it just loose enough that you can control it because otherwise your wrist may give out before the rest of the body does. So a regular bench press is going up and you are coming down. Now if you decide that the weights are a little bit too heavy, as you come back down let your elbows rest on the ground because you get a little bit of a break. If it's not too heavy, as do the bench press, you keep them off the ground, maybe an inch or two because that way keep that muscle engaged. This is the basic bench press. If you will notice, her fingers are facing her feet. We can change that and change the muscle group slightly by just changing her hand positions. So her hands are towards each other now rather than waving at her knees. So as she bends her elbows, she's making kind of a triangle at the bottom and the elbows come up at the top and the hands contact each other as they come up, slightly different position on the bench press.

    A third area on the bench press is to turn your palms toward your face, a little harder. This time the elbows are going to go down right by her waist. So when she gets to the bottom, you kind of squeeze your elbows inwards as if your body is a tube of toothpaste and you are trying to squeeze the toothpaste out of it, so you squeeze inwards and you punch your knuckles straight to the ceiling. Notice her wrist, she has no joint at the wrist. It's kind of like power to the people. If you have your wrists all crunched over, forwards or backwards, it will put a lot pressure on the wrist that you don't need to do. So get rid of the wrist so that all the work is done in the upper body. So there are three ways that you can do the bench press.

    Second exercise is a fly. It works the upper body muscles as much as the bench press does. You may want a slightly lighter weight because your arms are going to go farther from your body. You are going to pretend like you are hugging a big balloon. Elbows slightly bent to avoid injury to that joint and to transfer the work up into the upper body and you're just opening your arms to the side. The wider the big balloon is, the harder the exercise is. So as it gets harder, if you want, you can bend your elbows just a little bit so that you can continue a little farther.

    Often times when we're doing exercises, I give people the guide as to how many to do. But once both arms start to get tired, you can usually a do few more by alternating. So put the right arm down first and then the left arm and once your muscles get too tired to do alternating, see if you can handle two more with both hands and then we're done with the exercise. That usually helps you determine how many you can do because everybody is different.

    Now she's done one exercise with her hands towards each other. We can do the same three different positions that we did in the bench press. So if she turns her palms towards her knees and does the same fly action, out and up, she is going to get different muscles. She can do one more position, which is the hardest of the three and that is rotating her fingers towards her face and the neat thing about this is if you have ever heard of UADD. It's called Under Arm Dingle Dangle. What you don't want is Under Arm Dingle Dangle. So if you rotate the hand this way and go out, you are getting the third tricep muscle, you are getting the muscles underneath the arms. It's the best exercise I know for that area of the body. Very effective and very safe. Again it's a little harder so you may want to have lighter weights or you will do fewer repetitions. Your body is going to determine how many you do. Once you start struggling and you have no control over the weight, it's about time you stop.

    Once you have finished the chest, which is the flies and the bench press, we want to go to the opposite muscles, which is the back. So we're going to go to do some back muscles next.