Do it: Lie on a bench with the backrest set at a 45-degree incline. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight and your palms turned toward your feet.
Do it: Assume a pushup position wearing a weight vest or with a sandbag draped over your upper back or a weight plate balanced on your upper back. Your arms should be straight and hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend at your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and push your body back up.
“This is the most joint-friendly barbell variation of the bench press, allowing people with shoulder issues to still reap the benefits of pressing,” Contreras says.
Do it: Using an overhand grip that’s a bit narrower than shoulder width, hold a barbell above your sternum with your arms straight. Lower the bar to your chest. Hold for 1 second. Press the bar up.
Do it: Place two dumbbells next to each other so that they’re touching with the handles are parallel to each other. Assume a standard pushup position, grabbing a dumbbell handle with each hand. Your arms should be straight and your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head.
“I like using cables for this because they provide constant tension throughout the entire movement,” says Schoenfeld.
Do it: Attach two stirrup handles to the high-pulley cables of a cable-crossover station. Grab a handle with each hand, and stand in a staggered stance in the middle of the station. Your arms should be outstretched but slightly bent. Lean forward slightly at your hips; don’t round your back.
Do it: Lie on a decline bench with your shins hooked beneath the leg support. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight. Your palms should face your feet and the weights should be just outside your shoulders.
“It develops your chest, triceps, abs, and shoulders like crazy, and teaches you to stabilize your core,” he says.
Do it: Assume a pushup position with your left hand directly under your shoulder. Fully extend your right arm straight out to your side and place your hand on a medicine ball or low step. Bend your left elbow to slowly lower your chest down to the floor, making sure to keep the brunt of your bodyweight on your left hand.
Do it: Hang a chain over each end of the barbell, or anchor resistance bands to the bench and place them over each end of the bar. Start without weight, in order to get used to the unstable bar.
Do it: Get into a pushup position, your hands just outside your chest, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Brace your core.
Do it: With a spotter behind you, lie on a bench, holding a barbell above your neck.
Do it: Start by lying on a bench and holding a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing up just outside your hips.
Do it: Grab the handles of a TRX strap and extend your arms in front of your chest. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your body anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel from the floor. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.
Do it: Perform this unique exercise by placing one end of a barbell securely into the corner, grabbing the opposite end with one arm. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bending slightly at the knees while pushing your butt back.