Unstable Chest Training
I don't know if you guys know this, but I used to be a professional dancer. I got hooked when I saw Janet Jackson's
video for "Nasty Boys." So I enrolled in my first jazz class and
learned that with dance there are a handful of basic movements.
Choreography is basically variations of those movements.
exercise, there are a handful of basic movements as well that, if
tweaked, can work the muscles a little differently. A great way to vary
an exercise is to make it less stable. By doing so, the body utilizes
more muscle fibers. Primarily the muscles of the "core": abdominals,
back, hips and pelvis. Here are two great chest exercises that will
activate your core as well.
One-arm dumbbell press
exercise can be done on either a flat bench or a Swiss ball. I suggest
trying it on a bench first, so you can focus on correct form before
advancing to the Swiss ball. Grab one dumbbell (and no, not the dumb
guy next to you!) and lie down on a bench. Hold the dumbbell in your
right hand next to your chest. Place your left hand on your left hip.
Sassy! Pull your belly button in, press your lower back against the
bench and press your right arm up until it is fully extended. Make sure
your shoulder blade does not lift off the bench. You will feel your
body wanting to tip to one side to compensate for the weight. So keep
that core tight! Slowly lower the weight back down (on three counts)
until the dumbbell is next to your chest. If you have shoulder
problems, go as far down as your shoulder allows without any discomfort.
Do 10-12 reps, then switch arms. Perform three sets.
Swiss ball pushups
off with your stomach on a Swiss ball and your hands on the floor.
Slowly roll forward, walking your hands away from the ball, allowing
the ball to roll from your stomach to your hips to your legs until the
tops of your feet are on the ball. Keep your hands in line with your
shoulders and a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Draw your belly
button toward your spine and tip the pelvis under. (Tuck that booty!)
Do not arch your lower back. You might feel your body shake
because of this. That just means that you are activating your core.
Lower your chest as close as you can to the floor while maintaining
good form. Take three counts. Exhale and push up. Make sure that you
press straight up and not back. You do not want the ball to roll.
That's one . . . Do a total of 10-12. Perform three sets.
To really crank up the intensity, perform both exercises back to back.
Do you have a question for Bobby about how to improve your time in the gym? Send us an email.
(Photo: Getty Images)
A.C.E.- and N.A.S.M.-certified, Bobby Solorio has been personal training for over 10 years. You might recognize him from Bravo TV's "Kathy Griffin: My Life
on the D-List," where he trains his now-A-list client. For more info check out Bobby's website.