A 17 year old girl, fitness enthusiast and dedicated Olympic style weightlifter and non-competitive Irish dancer. I'm determined to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body whilst influencing other young people to do so. I never doubt my ability to achieve something; I just change what I'm doing until I succeed.
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I haven't posted for a while and its just because I've lacked the creativity to write a post. That happens sometimes and that is perfectly okay. However, I pondered and I remembered a while back that I wrote a post about Fitness equipment and gear. That got me thinking about the equipment I mentioned and how I should expand on my knowledge about chest expanders, (haha, get it? Expand). Anyways, carry on reading to hear my knowledge on chest expanding. The original post mentioning chest expanders is linked below if you want to check it out.
Benefits of chest expanding
Although chest expanding is no where near as good for your muscles as a fully equipped gym and lifting weights, I can definitely recommend the exercises and piece of equipment to people who are injured, unable to get to a gym or be fortunate enough to have pieces of equipment. Even if you aren't wanting to gain muscle, chest expanding can be an excellent way of increasing your ability to breath and fully open up your chest (like you would when doing yoga). With a standard chest expander, you can usually add springs to the expander in order to make the resistance tougher. Chest expanding will help to tear your muscles so they can repair and grow, however your rate of muscle growth may only be gradual compared to lifting and working out with weights. Chest expanding will also build strength in your tendons and ligaments. Even if you arent going to purely be using this piece of equipment for working out every day, it is good to have one for whenever you want to warm up or cool down.
Types of chest expanders to purchase
I use the gold's gym chest expander which my coach gave to me, the only link I could find to the exact one was to their amazon page, this is in linked in my other blog post about fitness gear. However, there are other alternatives which you can buy. You can pick up cheap chest expanders from sportdirect.com, but I have not tried them so I am unsure of the quality. Where I do my Olympic Weightlifting, we have some metal chest expanders but I am unsure where my coach bought them from. Personally, the metal expanders are not my forte as they can pinch your skin, trap fingers and rip out your hair! The rubber expanders are a lot safer in my eyes, although sometimes metal chest expanders can provide more resistance. I will link below the chest expander featured from sportdirect.com and the gold's gym metal chest expander. The gold's gym chest expander is not the cheapest metal expander you'll find, however if you've got the money I'd recommend buying one.
Chest expanding exercises
My coach gave me this slip of paper with exercises to do with a chest expander, I have no idea if they're from a book, whether he found them online or if they're his. Its quite old but i've tried my best to demonstrate the exercises shown. One by one (going along sideways) I'll show demonstrations of the diagrams. Please note that exercises 8 and 9 I have not demonstrated solely because I cannot show them correctly. They are both chest expanding exercises for your wrists, however images do not show much difference between the contraction of muscles with the start and finish images .
Chest expanding exercise #1
The first diagram is blurry, however I have managed to show a better demonstration of the exercise. This exercise simply can help with fully breathing through your chest.
Chest expanding exercise #2
Chest expanding exercise #3
I haven't taken a photo for this exercise because I feel that it is very easy to explain. Just like in diagram #1, the chest expander is stretched across the chest as the person completes a situp. When sitting up straight after completing a sit up, the expander is simply stretched. By not having your feet hooked under anything, the exercise can work your abdominals more.
Chest expanding exercise #4
This exercise is once again very simple to do, so I felt it wasn't necessary to have an image. Exercise #4 is very similar to exercise #1. The only difference is that you don't arch your back when stretching the expander, so you are stood upright when it is stretched.
Chest expanding exercise #5
Chest expanding exercise #6
This exercise is very similar to the standard bicep curl, however without the use of weights. This one is good and can either be completed by sitting or standing. Just be careful not to let the expander slip from under your foot, otherwise it could hurt if it hit you.
Chest expanding exercise #7
Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it. It took a lot of time editing so many images together! Please note that if exercises have been demonstrated incorrectly, that it is my fault and I would appreciate any correction in the comments below.