P90X Chest and Back Exercises


P90X is an intense home fitness program created by elite trainer Tony Horton and marketed by Beachbody. The program package contains 12 workout DVDs with the first disc focusing on the muscles in your chest and back. This workout alternates between six chest and six back exercises and is designed to work the muscle groups in opposition -- pushing and pulling. Along with the other workouts and a healthy diet, the program is designed to help you develop a lean, toned and ripped body in just 90 days.

P90X at a Glance

  • The program is a six-days-per-week regimen with each workout lasting about 60 minutes. The program is designed around a concept called "muscle confusion," which basically means you vary the exercises between training cycles. The constant variation prevents your body from adapting to the workouts, and prevents "plateaus," according to the Beachbody website. While several of the DVDs target specific muscle groups, others focus on plyometrics, cardio, yoga and stretching.

Chest/Back Workout Overview

  • This chest and back workout is performed on the first day of Weeks 1, 2, 3, 9 and 11. It consists of two rounds of 12 pushing and pulling exercises. The chest exercises include several variations of the classic pushup, and the back exercises include pullups, chin-ups and a few dumbbell exercises. The routine starts with a nine-minute warm-up followed by 40 minutes of exercises, and it ends with a three-minute cool-down. Horton guides you through each round, lets you know which exercise to perform, when to switch and when to take a break.

Required Chest Exercises

  • The sequence of chest exercises is the standard pushup, military pushup, wide fly pushup, decline pushup, diamond pushup and dive-bomber pushup. The military pushup is similar to the standard except your elbows stay closer to your body. With wide fly pushups your hands are wider than shoulder-width apart. For decline pushups you prop your feet up on an object such as a workout bench and for diamond pushups you put your hands beneath your chest and bring your thumbs and index fingers together to form a diamond. The dive-bomber pushup starts with your body in an inverted “V” position. You then bend your elbows and swoop down toward the floor with your chest until your body is horizontal. From there you drive your head up, straighten your arms and return to an inverted “V.”

Required Back Exercises

  • The back exercises require a pullup bar and a pair of dumbbells. The sequence is the wide front pullup, reverse-grip chin-up, closed-grip overhand pullup, heavy pants, lawnmowers and back flyes. Wide front pullups require you to pull your body up to the bar with your grip wider than shoulder-width apart and palms facing forward. With reverse-grip chin-ups, you reverse your hands so your palms face you. Close-grip pullups requre you to move your hands closer together with your palms facing forward. Heavy pants are basically two-arm dumbbell bent-over rows and lawnmowers are one-arm, bent-over rows with a dumbbell. For back flyes you sit, lean forward, squeeze your shoulder blades together and do dumbbell rows.

Exercise Order

  • The chest and a back exercise sequences are performed in order, but you alternate between them throughout two rounds. In the Round 1 the first exercise is the standard pushup, a push exercise, followed by the wide front pullup, a pull exercise. You continue to alternate between the two exercise sequences to finish the round. In Round 2 you reverse the order to a pull-push pattern. The wide front pullup is first followed by the standard pushup, and you continue to alternate between the two sequences to finish the round.

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