THE PEC POPPER PUSHUP ROUTINE
Why it works: Performing plyometric exercises—or explosive movements—at the end of your workout helps to zero in on your Type II muscle fibers, the ones that have the greatest potential for growth, says Speer.
“When you completely fatigue all of your muscle fibers—Type I and Type II— during your workout, and then attempt a fast, explosive movement, your muscles are forced to fire your Type II fibers,” he explains.
Do it: Perform 10 reps of plyometric pushups by pressing up from the down position so explosively that your hands leave the floor. Land softly each time.
Once you’ve done 10 reps, rest for 30 seconds.
Next, do eight reps, and then rest for 30 seconds. Finally, complete six reps, and then rest for 30 seconds.
Work up to higher rep ranges by adding one pushup to each set over your next five workouts. Do this one to two times a week.
Note: You’ll want to stay at top speed for the biggest payoff. If you start to slow down, rest 5 to 10 seconds before continuing.
MAIN SQUEEZE PUSHUP ROUTINE
Why it works: Squeezing your arms together in front of your body maximally engages your chest muscles throughout the entire rep, says Gaddour. This will help you hit often-neglected muscle fibers at the outer edges of your pecs.
Do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and place them longways next to each other so both hands of each dumbbell are touching each other.
Grip the dumbbell handles (your palms should be facing each other) and squeeze them together as hard as you can while performing a pushup.
Do pushups this way for a minute straight. Never stop squeezing the dumbbells together. After one minute of work, rest for one minute. That’s 1 round. Repeat 3 to 5 more times.