Isolation exercises utilize one specific muscle group to complete the movement. Isolating the pectoralis major or chest places greater demand on the muscle due to the lack of muscle groups assisting in the movement. Knowing how certain exercises isolate the chest will allow you to design your chest-firming workout plan.
The dumbbell fly works the pectoral muscle by using resistance to contract the chest. A flat or incline bench provides variability in movement. To perform the dumbbell fly, start by lying on a flat or incline bench and grab a dumbbell in both hands. Extend your arms over your chest and twist your wrists so that palms are facing inward. Maintain a slight bend with your elbows and slowly lower your dumbbells to a comfortable stretch in your chest. Raise the dumbbells to the starting position while keeping your elbows bent and contract your chest throughout the movement.
This chest isolation movement provides a stretch and contraction to the pectoral muscles. Pec deck machines develop strength in your chest and allow the user to practice correct form due to the machine’s fixed motion. Execute the pec deck fly by sitting with your back pressed against the pads. Place your forearms on the arm pads and contract your chest while bringing arms together in the center of your body. Slowly extend your arms to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Dumbbell pullovers offer another option to independently work your chest. Begin by lying on a bench with feet firmly placed on the floor. Hold one dumbbell in both hands over your chest. Bend your elbows slightly and lower your dumbbell backward over your head until your biceps are by your ears. Slowly lift the dumbbell to the starting position while contracting your chest throughout the exercise.
The cable crossover provides another option to independently target your chest. Performing this exercise requires the use of a cable machine. Set up the movement by adjusting the handles slightly above shoulder height. Grab a handle in each hand and take a few steps in front of you. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and extend arms outward. Bending forward slightly at the waist, bring your arms in toward the center line of your body until your hands join at waist height. Slowly extend arms back to the starting position and repeat.
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Fly
- "Strength Training Anatomy"; Frederic Delavier; 2010