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Arm and chest training: see 6 exercises analyzed by experts

Looking for videos on the internet with ready-made bodybuilding and aerobic workouts is a practical and affordable way to start a physical activity routine. However, due to the large amount of content available on social networks, the user may come across an excess of information and also misinformation.

With that in mind, the CNN selected 4 videos from YouTube’s main fitness influencers, with suggestions for workouts for arms and chest . The report also spoke to experts in the field to analyze and understand whether the information provided by the influencers made sense and whether it was really beneficial.

The selection of creators and videos was made with the help of the data team at CNN , which listed the biggest creators on the Winnin platform in the “Exercise & Wellbeing” category. Afterwards, a screening was carried out among the published videos to identify terms such as “best exercise” and “best training”, as well as titles that contained information supposedly based on scientific studies.

Finally, with the help of Pinpoint, a Google journalism tool, it was possible to check which exercises were most suitable for strengthening and hypertrophying the muscles of the arms and chest. You can see the transcription of the videos on page of CNN on Pinpoint.

Exercises to grow arms and chest

Among the videos about “exercises to grow arms and chest ”, those selected were:

In the videos, the most recommended exercises for pectoral hypertrophy were:

  1. Bench press;
  2. Crucifix;
  3. Pressing with dumbbells;
  4. Front and side elevation;
  5. Screw thread;
  6. Triceps

Below, see what the experts consulted by CNN talked about these indications.

Incline bench press

In his video, Laércio Refundini suggests that it is better to start chest training with exercises that work more on the upper part of the chest to reduce the demand on the shoulders. For this, your recommendation is to bet on the bench press inclined at 30 degrees.

“The recommendation to incline the bench press at 30 degrees instead of the traditional 45 degrees, to focus on the upper portion of the chest, is based on a study published in 2020. However, it is not certain to say that a certain exercise can ‘draw’ the chest in a specific way”, says Fábio Dominski, university professor and Ph.D. in Physical Education.


Still in his video, Refundini suggests that the crucifix done on the machine may be more interesting for pectoral hypertrophy than the incline bench press. “The crucifix works the pectoral muscles with the most elongated muscle, which, in fact, could contribute more to hypertrophy, in theory”, says Dominski.

“However, in general, in scientific comparisons, there are no differences in muscle hypertrophy between training with free weights or machines, according to two reviews [disponíveis aqui e aqui] About the subject. This gives the practitioner the possibility of performing the exercise they feel best in,” he adds.

Dumbbell press and front/side raise

Dominski assesses that, in fact, these are valid exercises for working the deltoids (shoulder muscles). “Regarding pull-ups, for those who have a lack of time as a barrier to exercising, you can opt for other multi-joint exercises that also sufficiently activate these regions of the muscle, such as bench presses,” he says.

Biceps curl

In his video for biceps hypertrophy, Fabrício Pacholok recommends different curl variations, such as barbell curls, scott curls and cross rope curls. Dominski points out that the difference between them is how the muscle is activated. “You can vary the position of the shoulder, leaving the biceps shorter or longer for different muscle activation,” he says.

The expert’s suggestion is that intermediate or advanced students do exercises such as standing barbell curls, with dumbbells or on a pulley, so that the shoulder remains in a neutral position; the Scott curl, in which the shoulder is in an inclined position, and the inclined curl, in which the shoulder is in an extended position. These guidelines are based on search published in the scientific magazine Sports.


In his video on hypertrophy for triceps, Refundini indicates several triceps variations, including triceps pulley, overhead press, French press, bench press, overhead press and parallel dip (or bench press).

Dominski comments that, according to a study published last year, the French triceps proved to be the most complete for hypertrophy of the three heads of the triceps. “This does not mean that other variations are not welcome in training,” he emphasizes. “Variations are valid for the emphasis on the long, medial and lateral portions, especially for those who want refined hypertrophy of this muscle”, he adds.

After all, is it worth relying on online videos to practice physical exercises?

In general, online videos with bodybuilding tips and exercises for weight loss can be accessible and easy-to-understand ways for amateur athletes to obtain information about training . However, according to experts interviewed by CNN this type of content can bring benefits and harms.

For Dominski, among the advantages is the autonomy of the practitioner being able to choose the type of exercise and the frequency of training, in addition to being able to carry out many workouts at home. However, he warns of the risks that these contents can pose, such as the lack of professional supervision.

Furthermore, he reinforces that the most important thing is adherence and consistency in training. “Researchers suggest worrying less about variables and more about getting people to actually train, that is, the factors that influence adherence to training. On this topic – motivation, what matters most, I observe that there are few influencers talking”, he concludes.

Check out other reports in the series: “Does exercising with internet videos work? See risks and benefits”

This article is part of a series of four reports published in CNN to analyze training videos available on the internet, their risks and benefits — from the point of view of experts in the field. Also check out the other reports at the links below:

  • Exercises to lose belly fat;
  • Exercises to lose weight;
  • Glute exercises.

Source: CNN Brasil

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