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Resting your feet on the bench instead of on the floor will target your muscles in a slightly different way.
A complete strength-training routine would include exercises targeting all of the major muscle groups, including the upper-body muscles such as the chest and arms. Among the exercises that focus on this region are the "pec deck" exercise, which requires a special machine, and the dumbbell fly, which involves lifting a set of dumbbells. While both work similar muscles, they're not exactly the same. The variety provided by these different exercises can be beneficial.
The dumbbell fly exercise involves holding a dumbbell in each hand and lying back on a weight bench with both feet flat on the floor. Start with the dumbbells held directly over your chest, with your arms out straight, then lower the arms out to the sides, creating a T configuration with your body. Return the dumbbells to the starting position over your chest to complete one repetition. According to ExRx.net, the main muscle used in the exercise is the sternal portion of the pectoralis major -- or the portion of the chest muscles that touches the sternum. The muscles assisting in the motion are the clavicular portion of the pectoralis major, the anterior deltoids of the shoulders and the biceps brachii. Since this is a free weight exercise, the arms also require stabilizers to hold the pose. With the dumbbell fly, those stabilizers include the brachialis, biceps brachii and triceps of the upper arms as well as wrist flexors of the lower arms.
The pec deck works the same primary muscle, namely the sternal portion of the pectoralis major. During this exercise, you sit on the seat of the pec deck machine, and place your elbows into arm rests that put your forearms in a vertical position. You then grasp the hand holds at the top of the arm rests, and press your arms toward one another against the resistance of the machine. The assisting or "synergist" muscles involved are the clavicular portion of the pectoralis major, as well as the pectoralis minor, a small muscle that stretches from the ribs to the front of the shoulder. Also involved is the serratus anterior, a band of muscles along the outer ribs. According to ExRx.net, no stabilizer muscles are involved when using the pec deck.
The two exercises work the same primary muscle, but they differ in the lesser muscles recruited to complete each exercise. With the pec deck machine, no stabilizer muscles are used, because the machine does the work of stabilizing the weight. Since the dumbbell fly is a free weight exercise, it provides more room for variation. You can vary the arm position with the dumbbell fly, thereby working the area in slightly different ways.
Variety Is Key
Before you decide that one exercise is better than the other, remember the importance of variety in resistance training. If you do the same exercises time after time, you may plateau eventually, inhibiting your progress. This occurs because your body adapts to the program after six to eight weeks, according to the American Council on Exercise. To combat the body's tendency to adapt, you can either vary your routine from one exercise session to the next or switch up your exercise routine every few weeks. This variation also helps avoid the boredom that can result from performing the same routine all the time. With this in mind, you may want to use the pec deck for a given period, then switch to the dumbbell fly. You could also employ other exercises that target the same muscle groups.