10 exercises for each key area
Best for chest: the push-up
The push-up wins hands down (if you’ll excuse the pun!). While the bench press is a great alternative, most of us don’t lift as much weight in the bench press as we do in the push-up. In one study, researchers found that 66.4 per cent of total body weight is lifted in a full push-up.
So if you weigh, say, 65kg, that means you’ll be lifting 43kg, which is probably more than you would normally attempt in a bench press. Also, you will get added challenge for the core stabilisers in the face-down position of a push-up.
A quick research fact for you: Truman State University found no difference between dumbbell or barbell chest press efficacy, but recorded less muscle activity in the major chest muscles in a pec fly exercise.
Best alternative exercise: bench press.