Q: You have cable crossovers, cable flyes, or pec deck flyes listed as contracted-position exercises for chest in 3D Muscle Building. I train in a home gym without a cable set up. What should I do for pec contraction?
A: Contracted-position exercises are usually isolation exercises that keep the target muscle under tension throughout the set. In other words, there is no bone-support at lockout so the target muscle gets no rest till the end of the set...
Good examples of single-joint contracted-position exercises are concentration curls for biceps, pushdowns for triceps, leg extensions for quads, and stiff-arm pulldowns for lats.
The home-gym contracted-position solution for chest is dumbbell flyes, going all the way to the top and driving them together to squeeze the pecs for a count. That squeeze is crucial to get a good pec contraction and will help produce an occlusion, or blood-flow-blocking, effect, which is one of the size-building properties of contracted-position exercises in Positions-of-Flexion mass training...
Because dumbbell flyes also train the pecs' stretch position, we suggest you train only the bottom two-thirds of the movement.
So do a minimum of 2 sets of flyes—one partial-range set to emphasize stretch and a full-range set with a top squeeze on each rep for an occlusion effect.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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