Water jug chest presses help define and strengthen the chest, triceps and biceps. Because you aren't just using traditional weights, your muscles work harder in order to stabilize the water jug. Always use caution when strength training -- especially when using objects that aren't designed for exercise. A five-gallon water jug weighs about 42 pounds so lift it carefully and only if you have been lifting traditional weights of similar size. Consult your doctor before trying any new exercise, particularly if you have a prior medical injury or condition.
Lie on your back on top of a bench while holding the water jug above you with both hands. Bend your elbows until they form 90-degree angles, keeping your forearms perpendicular to the ground. Slowly straighten your elbows and lift the water jug up over your chest. Hold the contraction for a few seconds and then return to the starting position by lowering your elbows back into 90-degree angles. Repeat for a total of 15 repetitions.
Do the chest press at an incline or decline by elevating or lowering your bench slightly to boost the intensity of the exercise and help you better target the chest muscles. In addition, you can increase the intensity of your workout by lying back on an exercise ball while you do chest presses. Lying on a fitness ball will force your muscles to work harder as you struggle to remain stable and balanced.
Although you could fill your jug with water, you can adjust the weight by filling it with other materials. For example, fill your jug with rice instead of water if you are new to exercise. Rice weighs approximately 5.7 pounds per gallon, which is less than water and thus is easier to lift. If you desire more weight, fill your jug with dirt, which weighs approximately 13 pounds a gallon.
To prevent injury, keep your movements slow and controlled when exercising with water jugs. Hold onto the handle of the jug tightly as you lift and lower it. Because this exercise can be dangerous, have a spotter stand by at all times to assist you as needed. Do not lock your arms when you press upward and never lower your elbows below the horizontal line of your body, which puts pressure on your shoulders and can lead to injury.
About the Author
Rose Erickson has been a professional writer since 2010. She specializes in fitness, parenting, beauty, health, nutrition and saving money, and writes for several online publications including The Krazy Coupon Lady. She is also a novelist and a mother of three.