All of us meatheads are the same. We love to bench press and incline press. We have done these exercises so much that we may have had to take a break from them at times to either progress or avoid injury. The bench press is fun to do, but it is not the only chest exercise that you should be doing.
In my opinion, the best chest exercise that I do not see people doing enough of is the one-arm dumbbell bench press. Not only does this exercise hammer the chest, it also has many other benefits.
What It Does
This exercise is a great exercise to train for overall upper-body strength, build an ironclad chest and horseshoe triceps. In addition, utilizing more unilateral upper-body exercises is a great way to reduce any imbalances that may exist in the right and left side of the body.
This exercises is also a fantastic way to hammer the core as well, as you really have to fire the contralateral side so as not to fall off the bench. Think of a plank on your back while performing a press. A lot of muscles get involved here.
How to Do It
Grab a dumbbell (or even a kettlebell) and keep your head and upper-back pasted to the bench with a slight arch in the lower back. Use a semi-pronated/neutral grip for this exercise. This makes it a little shoulder friendly. I like to tell people to aim for the armpit when you lower the weight down.
Keeping your butt and pelvis flat on the bench is crucial. This ensures a nice stable core with no compensation. You will feel the non-loaded side light up when you get a nice sized bell in your hand, so you will know what I mean. Your core will be waking up.
Foot position is a personal preference. You can have feet flat with knees at 90 degrees, or have them bent and dig your toes into the ground. Either way, push your feet into the ground to stay stable. Make sure to avoid hanging onto the bench for help. You want your opposite side to get some work in.
Try 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps on each side. Any more than 10 reps can be difficult to maintain form. I usually will put this exercise second in my pressing routine. You will be sure to tap into some new chest, shoulder and triceps muscles due to the unilateral work.
If you are looking for a new way to increase upper-body size and core strength, the one-arm bench press is your ticket.